Today marked the twelfth 2021 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. Here’s what I observed! UPDATE: And here’s the latest BGN Radio podcast, which features analysis from both practice and Philly’s first preseason game.
• No pads today.
• JALEN HURTS UPDATE: Not the best showing for QB1.
Hurts threw too late on a curl route to Dallas Goedert, which allowed Darius Slay to break on the ball for a deflection. Hurts then threw wide left of Goedert in a red zone series, which prompted offensive coordinator Shane Steichen to talk to him after that play. Hurts missed Travis Fulgham wide on a short throw over the middle. Shortly after, Hurts overthrew Fulgham in Wentzian fashion. Hurts also way overthrew a deep ball to Jalen Reagor, who — to his credit — got open against Slay. Hurts has typically been a good downfield thrower but between missing Quez Watkins and this miscue, he hasn’t been as sharp recently. Good coverage by the Eagles’ defense and/or indecision by Hurts forced him to throw a ball into the dirt after rolling to the right. The defense got fired up about frustrating him on that rep.
Hurts did have some good completions to each of Reagor, Fulgham, and Quez Watkins over the middle. He also put a ball on a rope to Zach Ertz on a quick out up against Slay for a touchdown in red zone 7-on-7.
• EAGLES INJURY UPDATES: Prior to practice, Nick Sirianni revealed that DeVonta Smith (knee) has been upgraded from ‘week-to-week’ to ‘day-to-day’. Smith did some running and cutting on a side field, which is progress from when we saw him lightly jogging around last week. Based on Smith’s original reported recovery timeline, he should be back within the next nine days or so. Good to see he’s progressing.
Isaac Seumalo (hamstring) was back as a full participant. He was the starting left guard, as expected.
It was surprising to see the Eagles activate Le’Raven Clark from the active/PUP list. There was thought he would begin the season on reserve/PUP considering he suffered a torn Achilles in December. Especially since, unlike someone like Rodney McLeod, he hasn’t been doing much on-field rehab work during practice. Clark isn’t fully practicing yet as he’s still in a ramp-up period. Still, his return is significant when it comes to the Eagles’ offensive line picture. With Andre Dillard injured and struggling, Clark could have a chance to win a job as Philly’s backup left tackle behind Jordan Mailata. The Eagles should really just trade Dillard for whatever they can and ride with Clark, assuming the veteran doesn’t look like a disaster out there.
Genard Avery (knee) was back as a limited participant.
Jason Huntley (ribs) is a new addition to the injury report. He’s day-to-day.
Kerryon Johnson (knee) is still being evaluated and thus hasn’t been given a timeline. Not an ideal development here. Johnson’s had knee issues in the past and he risks losing ground in the running back battle by not practicing/playing. I had him off my latest 53-man roster projection.
I think the Eagles are going to keep Jordan Howard on their 53. https://t.co/fITizycjdr— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 14, 2021
• Watkins and Fulgham were the only two receivers on the field when the Eagles opened 11-on-11 drills in 12 personnel. Watkins promptly caught a slant pass for a first down, continuing his standout summer. Fulgham made a nice leaping grab on a contested catch after running a comeback.
• Javon Hargrave had a couple of sacks. He’s had a really strong summer. With how disruptive he’s been, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tops his single-season career-high of 6.5 sacks this year.
• Zech McPhearson had a leaping pass breakup on a Joe Flacco throw meant for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
• Josh Sweat beat Jordan Mailata for a sack by going wide around the edge and eventually circling back inside. Derek Barnett also logged a nice pressure.
• Patrick Johnson was taking first team reps in the Avery/Ostman role as a rushing linebacker.
• Elijah Riley had good coverage on Richard Rodgers to help force a red zone incompletion on a Flacco ball that may have been a little too high anyway.
• Boston Scott juked Joe Ostman to the point where it caused the linebacker to stumble. Broke his ankles!
• Elijah Holyfield saw increased reps with Huntley and Johnson both not practicing. He did not make the most of them, though. Dropped two passes.
• UDFA offensive lineman Kayode Awosika is now lining up at right tackle after previously working at guard. Interesting. Seems like the Eagles are trying to see if he can handle it.
• UDFA center Harry Crider had multiple bad snaps where the ball hit the ground before it got to Nick Mullens.
• Hakeem Butler’s height came in handy when he made a contested catch high over a defender. Despite this, Butler is a candidate to be cut when the Eagles trim down to 85 players ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. There’s a real possibility the only NFL snap that Butler ever plays is the one where Doug Pederson inexplicably called a goal line fade to him on fourth down against the New York Giants last season.
• Old friend Marken Michel had an over-the-shoulder touchdown catch on a fade route from Mullens during red zone drills.
• Former NFL head coach Mike McCoy was a guest at practice. He overlapped with Sirianni on the then-San Diego Chargers from 2013 through 2016.
• My view of today’s practice was mostly from this spot:
Eagles DBs up close. pic.twitter.com/9Zt10jvLeA— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 14, 2021
UP NEXT: The Eagles’ media schedule originally indicated Sunday was a regular practice but now it’s just a walkthrough closed to any access. The team will be back in action on Monday, August 16 when they host the New England Patriots at the NovaCare Complex for joint training camp practices. The first session starts at 10:00 AM Eastern. Should be fun! Stay tuned to BGN for complete coverage, as always.