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Eagles place Sua Opeta on reserve/COVID-19 list, announce practice squad protections

Tuesday’s roster news.

NFL: AUG 27 Preseason - Eagles at Jets Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles announced some transactional news on Tuesday. An overview:

  • OG Sua Opeta was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
  • G/T Kayode Awosika, WR John Hightower, CB Craig James, and S Elijah Riley received practice squad protections.

Let’s sort through this on a player-by-player basis.


Assuming Opeta tested positive for the coronavirus, he faces one of two paths to returning to the 53-man roster:

1) If he’s vaccinated, he can be activated once he provides two negative tests 24 hours apart.

2) If he’s not vaccinated, he can only be activated after 10 days of isolation and two negative tests 24 hours apart.

If the second option is the case for Opeta, he’d automatically be out for the Eagles’ next two games since Philly plays on Thursday Night Football in Week 6. Based on the team’s overall high vaccination rate, it seems more likely the first path applies to him.

Opeta was the top backup guard in Week 4 with the Eagles having to use the following starting offensive line:

Left tackle — Andre Dillard
Left guard — Landon Dickerson
Center — Jason Kelce
Right guard — Nate Herbig
Right tackle — Jack Driscoll

If Lane Johnson is able to return (there’s still no word on his status), Driscoll would likely move to right guard with Herbig being the top interior backup off the bench. So, Opeta might not even really be needed for this week’s game. But he would be in line to be the top guard backup if Johnson misses more time. Otherwise the Eagles could be relying on Brett Toth (limited experience at guard) or Jack Anderson (recently acquired from the Bills) if their interior depth is further tested.


Between the Eagles valuing Awosika’s long-term potential and Philly’s offensive line absences, it makes too much sense not to protect this undrafted rookie.


The Eagles still value his long-term potential.


The Eagles like his special teams ability.


Riley has been protected every week so far this season. The Eagles clearly don’t want to lose him. Especially with only three full-time safeties on the 53-man roster.

See below for a current look at the Eagles’ 2021 practice squad.

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

*Not counting COVID-19 elevations.

S Elijah Riley (5)

WR John Hightower (3)

G/T Kayode Awosika (3)

CB Craig James (3)

RB Jordan Howard (2)

DT Marvin Wilson (2)

RB Jason Huntley

WR KeeSean Johnson

WR Travis Fulgham

TE Nick Eubanks

OT Casey Tucker

DE Cameron Malveaux

DT Raequan Williams

LB JaCoby Stevens

LB Christian Elliss

CB Michael Jacquet III

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


OT Le’Raven Clark (1)

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