Sheppard injury will hurt Eagles 

January, 12, 2007
01/12/07
10:01
AM ET
Injuries are part of the NFL and can prevent good teams from missing out on the playoffs. Once you get to the playoffs, injuries also can prevent a team from advancing to the next round. That could be the case this week for the Philadelphia Eagles, who will face the New Orleans Saints without cornerback Lito Sheppard.

The Pro Bowler dislocated his elbow last week and will be lost for at least this week's game. In losing Sheppard, the Eagles lose not only a team leader but their No. 1 corner, who led the team with six interceptions during the regular season.

So now the question becomes, how do they compensate for the loss? The Eagles will start Roderick Hood at one corner and Joselio Hanson will be the No. 3. Hood does not possess the same ball skills, foot speed or quickness that Sheppard does, but the Eagles have been somewhat able to "hide" him this season as the No. 3 corner. They will not have that luxury this week. The injury also puts Hanson in the spotlight against the Saints, who finished the regular season with the league's No. 1-ranked pass offense.

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