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Eagles hosting punter on free agent visit

Replacement option?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles are hosting free agent punter Matt Wile on a visit, according to Aaron Wilson.

The Eagles previously tried out Wile back in mid-October. Here’s what we wrote about the 28-year-old at the time:

In other news, the Eagles also tried out punter Matt Wile on Thursday. We wrote about how the Eagles curiously worked out former CFL kicker/punter Lirim Hajrullahu. Wile has had eight different NFL stints since entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2015. He mostly recently spent time with the Detroit Lions. Wile has experience handling kickoffs in addition to punts. Could just be a case of the Eagles doing some homework on players they might need to add if there’s a COVID outbreak in their specialist room.

The Eagles might need to sign a new punter ahead of this week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys since Cameron Johnston is in the concussion protocol. Johnston must be independently cleared before he’s eligible to return to game action.

Wile could be a reasonable stop-gap option for the Eagles. Signing a punter from another team’s practice squad isn’t as preferable since they’d have to guarantee that player’s salary and roster spot for three weeks. Johnston will likely be back in time for Week 17 if not this week.

The NFL’s COVID protocol adds a complicating layer to the Eagles’ punter decision. In normal times, the Eagles could just wait until Johnston is ruled out or not to sign a replacement. But with COVID testing requirements, the Eagles could need to make a decision earlier on.

We’ll soon see if they end up signing Wile or not.

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