Aussie NFL star Jordan Mailata has suffered his first hiccup of the 2021 season just weeks after inking a four-year contract extension reportedly worth up to an astounding $108.7 million with $55.5 million guaranteed.
Mailata will miss Philadelphia’s primetime game against the Dallas Cowboys, set to air in Australia on Tuesday morning.
The former rugby league player suffered a knee sprain during Eagles practice on Thursday and today Philadelphia’s head coach Nick Sirianni confirmed the Bankstown product would need at least a week off, possibly more.
“Jordan is going to be out, Andre [Dillard] will start,” Sirianni said in his press conference.
“He went back in after he got rolled up on in practice, and then he came in and having some pain in there. It’s really… we’re going to just play it by ear. We don’t really know exactly yet, but we’re hoping soon, sooner than later [he’ll be back], but yeah, he’ll be out this week.”
Sirianni said Mailata was not going to be moved to the injured reserve, and will remain on the 53-man roster which is a positive sign for the coaching staff’s outlook on his return.
Mailata has been impressive in the first two weeks of the season since securing his lucrative contract extension.
The 6-foot-8, 150kg-plus offensive lineman has battled some injury setbacks in the past, but after a breakthrough season last year and having taken another huge leap in pre-season, Mailata showed Eagles coaches he was worth paying top dollar for.
In training camp in pre-season Mailata convincingly won the starting job at left tackle, beating out Andre Dillard. Now Dillard is set to replace the 24-year-old.
Sirianni said he had “a tonne of confidence” Dillard could step up in Mailata’s absence.
“I’ve seen him be able to shut the pass rush down in our practice,” he said.
“We gave him a couple different looks of different scout team players to go against, and I feel really confident in Andre, and he should feel confident in himself.
“I know he had that injury that set him back a little bit in training camp, but I’ve had complete confidence in him ever since I’ve got here, and then he gets that Jets game and the Jets practices and the New England practices, and I just think he’s looked really good.
“Based off what I’ve seen, I’ve got a tonne of confidence in Andre and look forward to… obviously it’s a bummer that Jordan can’t play, but look forward to the challenge that Andre has and looking forward to watching him step up and fill Jordan’s role and have a good game.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!