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Eagles designate four practice squad protections ahead of Week 17

Unpoachables.

Philadelphia Eagles v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles placed protections on the following four practice squad players to ensure that they can’t be poached away ahead of their Week 17 game against the Washington Football Team: tight end Hakeem Butler, offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho, defensive end Joe Ostman, and linebacker Rashad Smith.

HAKEEM BUTLER

The Eagles already have four tight ends on their 53-man roster in Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz, Richard Rodgers, and Caleb Wilson. Protecting Butler isn’t about needing him for this week’s game as much as it signals the Eagles value his long-term potential. It’d be cool if Butler can develop into a second or third tight end in 2021.

PRINCE TEGA WANOGHO

The Eagles are looking thin at offensive tackle with Jordan Mailata in concussion protocol after taking a dirty shot to the head from Jaylon Smith. Brett Toth and Matt Pryor are the only two healthy tackles on the 53-man roster and Pryor really shouldn’t even be playing on the outside. If Mailata isn’t cleared to play, PTW could be in line to start at left tackle against Chase Young this week.

JOE OSTMAN

Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, and Genard Avery are the only healthy defensive ends on the Eagles’ 53-man roster. It’s unclear if Derek Barnett will be able to return for this week’s game. Ostman could see another promotion to give Philly more edge depth.

RASHAD SMITH

With Duke Riley missing Week 16 due to injury and Shaun Bradley getting banged up, the Eagles have Alex Singleton, T.J. Edwards, and Joe Bachie as their only healthy linebackers. The Eagles might need to promote Smith to have another body at that position.

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With the Eagles being eliminated from the playoffs, this marks the final week the Eagles will designate protections. The team will likely sign most of their practice squad players to “future contracts” early next week after the season is officially over.


See below for a current look at the Eagles’ 2020 practice squad.

Format: Position, player, (times protected this season), [times elevated this season]*

*Not counting COVID-19 elevations.

TE Hakeem Butler (1) [0] — Protected this week

OT Prince Tega Wanogho (4) [0] — Protected this week

DE Joe Ostman (3) [1] — Protected this week

LB Rashad Smith (5) [1] — Protected this week

RB Jordan Howard (5) [2]

RB Adrian Killins (1) [0]

RB Elijah Holyfield (0) [1]

WR Deontay Burnett (4) [2]

TE Jason Croom (2) [2]

OT Casey Tucker (0) [0]

DT Treyvon Hester (0) [0]

CB Jameson Houston (1) [2]

CB Lavert Hill (0) [0]

S Blake Countess (0) [1]

{DE Matt Leo — international spot - doesn’t count towards limit}