The Philadelphia Eagles waived former starting defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao off their injured reserve list with an injury settlement earlier this week, according to the NFL’s official transaction wire.
The Eagles originally used the “waived/injured” designation on Vaeao back on October 16. Vaeao suffered a quadriceps injury during the Eagles’ Week 6 over the New York Giants.
After Vaeao passed through waivers, he automatically reverted to the Eagles’ injured reserve list. He was then released from that list through the injury settlement.
This news means Vaeao is now free to sign with any team ... except the Eagles. Vaeao isn’t eligible to re-sign with Philadelphia until the injury settlement time period (which is unknown) PLUS three additional weeks have passed.
The thinking here is that the Eagles might be trying to work around the typical injured reserve protocol with this move. If the Eagles had simply kept Vaeao and planned to return him, he’d have to be out for at least eight weeks. Plus bringing him back would use up one of their two “return from IR” spots.
Instead, Vaeao might be able to return to the Eagles sooner than eight weeks and he won’t count against the “return from IR” limit. The “risk” here is that Vaeao could opt to not wait around and just sign with another team if/when he’s healthy.
With the Eagles being so thin at defensive tackle, it could make sense to bring back Vaeao down the line. But it’s not like he’s so desperately missed. The third-year player had a mere two tackles and one sack in 157 defensive snaps played this season. And the sack came on a play where Giants rookie left guard Will Hernandez simply forgot to block him for some reason.
Vaeao appeared in 33 games and made three starts (all this season) after originally signing with the Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2016.
Moving forward, the Eagles have Fletcher Cox, Haloti Ngata, Treyvon Hester, and Bruce Hector as defensive tackles on their 53-man roster. The team also has Winston Craig on the practice squad.
RB Jay Ajayi
CB Elie Bouka
WR Mack Hollins
S Rodney McLeod
TE Richard Rodgers
WR Mike Wallace
LB Paul Worrilow