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Eagles once again down to three defensive tackles after cutting Bruce Hector

Heavy at DE, light at DT.

Tennessee Titans v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles waived defensive tackle Bruce Hector, according to an official announcement from the team. The Eagles needed to clear a roster spot after acquiring Genard Avery in a trade with the Cleveland Browns.

Hector was only promoted from the practice squad to the roster this past Friday. Hector actually started next to Fletcher Cox and logged 30 defensive snaps (48% of the team total) against the Buffalo Bills. Today’s development makes Hector the third Eagles defensive starter to be released in three weeks. (Previously: Some guy named Orlando Scandrick, Zach Brown.)

With Hector gone, the Eagles are now once again down to just Cox, Albert Huggins, and Anthony Rush at defensive tackle. Rush and Huggins are undrafted rookie free agents who played very sparingly in their first NFL game in Buffalo. Rush took 12 snaps (19%) while Huggins only had nine (15%).

So, why didn’t the Eagles cut one of Rush or Huggins instead of Hector? It actually has to do with the NFL’s practice squad rules. When a team signs a player away from another team’s practice squad, the signing team has to guarantee that player’s salary and roster spot for three weeks. The Eagles signed Rush away from the Oakland Raiders and Huggins away from the Houston Texans so they’ll both be around for at least two more weeks.

The Eagles are very light at defensive tackle but it’s not impossible they could look to add a player at that position before the NFL trade deadline passes. Alternatively, the Eagles could have some of their seven (!) defensive ends take more interior snaps.

The Eagles could also look to add Hector back to their practice should he clear waivers.

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