The Philadelphia Eagles made a change to their practice squad on Tuesday morning. The team officially released cornerback C.J. Smith in order to bring back undrafted free agent offensive tackle Victor Salako.
This move is a little interesting because one would think the Eagles wouldn’t be cutting a cornerback right after the news Ronald Darby is going to be out for four to six weeks. It’s also a little surprising considering there was thought Smith was pushing for a roster spot. He took a lot of second team corner reps this offseason.
The Eagles now only have four healthy corners on their roster and practice squad combined: Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson, Rasul Douglas, and Dexter McDougle. It’s worth noting safeties Jaylen Watkins and Malcolm Jenkins (nickel) can also play at corner.
Signing Salako is also interesting since Jason Peters suffered a groin injury during the Eagles’ Week 1 game against the Washington Redskins. After the game, Peters told reporters he expects to play against the Chiefs in Week 2.
Salako originally signed with the Eagles after a tryout in rookie minicamp. The undrafted free agent earned “All-Preseason Team” honors from PFF this summer.
Salako earned the top preseason overall grade at his position, thanks to a balanced performance on run and pass blocks. His run blocking grade of 80.2 ranked 13th among all tackles, and he did not give up a single pressure on 43 pass blocks.
Perhaps this Smith/Salako thing is going to be this year’s version of the JaCorey Shepherd/Darrell Greene practice squad swap that kept happening last season. The Eagles were basically doing a workaround that allowed them to have 11 practice squad players.
The Eagles likely won’t be done making roster moves today. Philadelphia needs to sign a new kicker after the news that Caleb Sturgis will be out for about four weeks. A roster move will need to be made in order to free up space for the new kicker. Stay tuned for more updates.
UPDATED LOOK AT THE 2017 EAGLES PRACTICE SQUAD
OT Victor Salako
QB Nate Sudfeld
C/G Josh Andrews
TE Billy Brown
LB Nathan Gerry
OT Dillon Gordon
DT Justin Hamilton
RB Byron Marshall
WR Bryce Treggs
WR Greg Ward