The Eagles announced on Sunday that backup center Julian Vandervelde has undergone back surgery. The 26-year-old offensive lineman was in the midst of a camp battle with David Molk, who had a solid performance in the Eagles first preseason game on Friday.
The back surgery likely takes Vandervelde out of the competition for the backup center spot. There has been no timetable offered for his recovery, but it is likely that he will miss the rest of training camp and the preseason. Vandervelde has already practiced in training camp so he cannot be put on the physically unable to perform list. That means that the Eagles will either have to keep him on the active roster or place him on injured reserve. They could also put him on the short-term injured reserve, but that is unlikely due to his position.
Vandervelde was a fifth round pick out of Iowa in 2011. He bounced on-and-off the roster for two seasons and had a short stint on the Buccaneers practice squad, before becoming entrenched as the Eagles backup center last season. He has played in 15 games (no starts) during his three-year career.
With Vandervelde out of action for a prolonged period, Molk now becomes the backup center behind Jason Kelce. Molk was a seventh round pick in 2012 by the Chargers. He played in 12 games as a rookie but was cut following training camp last season. He signed with the Eagles in January. The team also has undrafted rookie Josh Andrews to take snaps at center.