The Philadelphia Eagles added two veterans players to their roster this week: linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and offensive tackle Will Beatty. Their jersey numbers have since been revealed.
Ellerbe will wear No. 57, which was previously worn by 2016 seventh-round defensive end Alex McCalister. The last Eagles linebacker to wear No. 57 was Travis Long. Ellerbe previously wore No. 59 his entire career. Joe Walker currently has that number, so he’ll get to keep that, but Ellerbe could take playing time away from Walker.
Beatty will wear No. 66. He wore No. 65 with the Giants, which is currently occupied by Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson. The last Eagles player to wear No. 66 in a regular season game was Andrew Gardner. In an ideal world, Beatty won’t have to play for the Eagles this season.
For more on Ellerbe and Beatty, check out what Philadelphia’s coaching staff had to say about the signings.
Doug Pederson on Ellerbe and Beatty
Q. How much did LB Dannell Ellerbe’s and T Will Beatty’s experience in the postseason factor into the decision to bring them on the team now?
COACH PEDERSON: As far as the postseason none, but adding talent to our roster, everything. And that's what we do every single time we make a signing or a trade or a personnel decision, is to, as I've said and [Executive Vice President of Football Operations] Howie [Roseman] has said all along, that we continue to bring talent and add talent to our roster.
Q. In signing Beatty, he hasn't played much obviously the past few years. What made you want to bring him in at this point?
COACH PEDERSON: At this point, he has played games. He's been a starter in this league, and that's valuable. He comes in and just gives us that added depth that you like to have at not only the offensive line, but any position that we bring a player in for.
Q. What does that do to G Isaac Seumalo’s situation? Does he continue to take reps at tackle or does he move inside to guard?
COACH PEDERSON: Isaac is still going to work his rotation inside and outside. It doesn't affect Isaac. Will has to come in here and he has to learn just like any player, even Ellerbe. These guys have to learn our system first before we can fully engage them, just like [RB] Jay Ajayi. They have to learn and show us that they're capable of understanding our schemes before we put them out there.
Jim Schwartz on Ellerbe
Q. At linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, how does he fit in?
JIM SCHWARTZ: That's another one to be seen. He's a veteran player. He's played different positions. He's played different schemes. So a lot of times, getting those guys up to speed is a matter of getting terminology right and things like that. He hasn't been on the field for a pretty long time, so there's a semblance of getting back in football shape too. We'll let that play out and see where it goes. But it's good to have a veteran player there that has a lot of experience, and he's got both of those.
Q. Is he competing with LB Joe Walker as a base middle linebacker?
JIM SCHWARTZ: Yeah, I think we'll start him probably learning all three positions. Then also the nickel and the nickel Sam position, and we'll see where it goes.
Q. Why do it that way instead of trying to -- if he has a lot on his plate, trying to learn the defense?
JIM SCHWARTZ: If he was a rookie, it might be different. But he's a veteran player and he's played all of those positions in the past. When you come in halfway through the season, he's going to have to be available wherever it comes up, and we'll see where that takes us. But I think the thing that gives us confidence there is there is nothing that we are going to ask him to do that he hasn't done somewhere along the line. There's nothing he is learning for the very first time. It's all a matter of getting terminology down and getting in football shape. Those are really his challenges.