Tonight marked the fourth 2021 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. Here’s what I observed! UPDATE: And here’s our daily BGN Radio podcast recap.
• JALEN HURTS UPDATE: Not a great practice for No. 1. Hurts threw behind Boston Scott on a quick slant. He dropped a shotgun snap. He missed Dallas Goedert over the middle a little too wide. His worst throw of the day was when he failed to get the ball high enough over T.J. Edwards, who nabbed a leaping pick. Hurts also resorted to running a little too often. Still would like to see him get the ball out quicker at times and avoid inviting pressure. On the bright side, Hurts did have a good completion to Travis Fulgham along the sideline for a first down. Also hit Zach Ertz on a wheel route for about a 30-yard gain.
• INJURY UPDATE: The big news is that DeVonta Smith didn’t make it through the entire practice. The rookie receiver got hurt on a Hurts throw that was thrown too low and caused him to land awkwardly on the ball. Smith slowly jogged away from the team drill to get looked at by a trainer. He practiced running a route and looked OK to me but didn’t re-enter practice. He remained on the field, though, and seemed to be in good spirits. After practice, the Eagles said Smith is being evaluated for a leg injury but they don’t think it’s too serious.
Elsewhere in new injury developments, Davion Taylor (quad) missed practice and is considered day-to-day. Jalen Reagor (lower body tightness) and Quez Watkins (non-COVID illness) are still listed as limited but the former saw some team work while the latter took part in 1-on-1. Making progress.
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was on the ground in pain for a decent amount of time before walking back to where the wide receivers were standing. He seemed to be OK upon reentering team drills. We previously noted JJAW got a little nicked up on Friday so we’ll continue to monitor this one.
• LEFT TACKLE BATTLE: Jordan Mailata got the first crack with the starters today. He’s clearly the favorite to win the job at this rate. Mailata, whom Nick Sirianni described as “a big man that can move like a little man” prior to practice, just never struggles as badly as Andre Dillard does. Dillard got cooked by Derek Barnett once again in 1-on-1s. Meanwhile, Mailata was able to stave off Josh Sweat and Tarron Jackson.
• DEPTH CHART NOTES - DEFENSE: With Davion Taylor out, T.J. Edwards and Rashad Smith (!) were the first team off-ball linebackers.
• Fulgham beat Anthony Harris in coverage on the aforementioned reception from a Hurts throw. Quality rep by No. 13.
• Miles Sanders had another big run. The running back found a hole and took off, stiff-arming the last line of defense en route to the end zone.
• Joe Ostman, who has been rotating with Genard Avery as a first team linebacker, had a nice rep where he recognized a designed QB run and got in position in the backfield to stop Hurts for a loss. (Obviously couldn’t touch the quarterback, though) That play earned praise from Jonathan Gannon.
• On the note of designed QB runs, seems like the Eagles were repping a lot of those tonight.
• Josh Sweat’s definitely having a good camp. Just really active out there. He “sacked” Joe Flacco, logged a pressure on Hurts while going up against Lane Johnson, and disrupted a screen play. Sweat and Barnett are really pushing each other. The latter had a nice rep where he drove Ross Pierschbacher right into a running back in the backfield.
• Prior to practice, Nick Sirianni talked about how the Eagles’ defense is “relentless to the football.” He’s not just saying that. The defense does indeed practice with a lot of energy. They’ve gotten the better of the offense thus far in camp.
• WR vs. DB, 1-on-1: Steve Nelson broke up a pass meant for Fulgham. Reagor caught a pass while going up against Darius Slay, nice to see. Slay came back with a rep where it looked like Reagor had him beat over the middle but he recovered for the pass breakup at the last moment. Gannon was fired up about that one and let Slay know it. JJAW had a good over-the-shoulder catch in stride. Quez Watkins made an impressive leaping contested-catch. Greg Ward cooked Avonte Maddox over the middle.
• Mentioned this name on Friday and I’ll say it again: T.Y. McGill. The veteran defensive tackle continues to pop in practice. Today he logged a “sack” and also batted down a Flacco pass at the line of scrimmage.
• Flacco had a good 7-on-7 rep where he threw it into a tight window over the middle to Kenny Gainwell, who caught the ball with his hands extended away from his body. Especially nice catch for a running back’s standard. Haven’t seen Gainwell pop much as a runner thus far.
• Speaking of runners who pop, though, Jason Huntley sure is fast. He was absolutely gone after finding some daylight. No one on the defense had a chance to catch him from behind. Huntley might convince the Eagles to keep him as a fifth running back/kick returner.
• Undrafted rookie free agent signing JaQuan Bailey logged an actual forced fumble on Nick Mullens. His defensive teammates liked to see that, of course, but defensive line coach Tracy Rocker didn’t approve since defenders are not allowed to touch quarterbacks in practice.
• Not the best practice for Elijah Riley. He got cooked by Ertz on the wheel route. Also allowed a catch to JJAW in 1-on-1.
• Quiet camp for Marlon Tuipulotu but I saw him earn praise in the form of applause from the rest of the defensive line after a 1-on-1 rep.
• Kenny Gainwell muffed another punt. Don’t think we’ll see him in that role for the Eagles this year. I didn’t notice Reagor drop one, which is encouraging since he had an issue with that last year.
• Jake Elliott saw his first real action of training camp thus far. The Eagles’ kicker made four of his six field goal attempts. His makes were from 38, 40, 43, and 44. He was wide right on 33 (yikes) and wide left on 49.
• I timed four Arryn Siposs punts: 3.48, 4.83, 4.06, 4.69. So, two really good ones, one bad one, and one shank.
UP NEXT: The Eagles are OFF on Sunday before returning to practice on Monday. Fear not because we’ll still have some fresh new #content up on the site tomorrow. Stay tuned to BGN, as always.