The Philadelphia Eagles have made a roster move as they enter their Week 7 bye. The team released veteran offensive lineman Wade Smith on Tuesday and re-signed former Eagles backup offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde.
#Eagles sign C Julian Vandervelde and release OL Wade Smith. pic.twitter.com/zIclkRRhcL— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 14, 2014
This move should not come as a total surprise. The Eagles reportedly evaluated Vandervelde's health earlier this month. I speculated at the time that a Vandervelde return would mean the end of Smith's tenure as a member of the Eagles.
Perhaps the Eagles are looking at Vandervelde to eventually replace veteran backup offensive lineman Wade Smith. Smith is currently Molk's backup at center but he hasn't played at that position in years.
Vandervelde was waived by Philadelphia with an injury settlement in late August. The veteran offensive lineman suffered a back injury in late July which required him to get surgery. It appears Vandervelde is now healthy to return to action.
The 27-year-old lineman will likely serve as a backup to fill-in center David Molk. Vandervelde can also play at guard if necessary. Full-time starting center Jason Kelce is scheduled to return from a sports hernia injury around Week 10.
Wade Smith was originally signed in early September following the long-term injuries to All-Pro left guard Evan Mathis and right tackle Allen Barbre. Smith only appeared in 18 snaps for Philadelphia. The Eagles put him in at left guard following Jason Peters' ejection in the Eagles-Redskins Week 3 game.
It appears the Eagles felt Vandervelde was a better option than Smith at this point now that the former has returned to a healthy status. Vandervelde is younger than Smith (33) and has more experience in the team's system.
It's possible Vandervelde doesn't stick around for too long. The Eagles will need to clear a roster space for when Evan Mathis returns from the injured reserve/designated for return list in Week 10.
For now, welcome back, Batmandervelde.