Today marked the fifth 2021 Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice. Here’s what I observed! UPDATE: And today’s daily BGN Radio podcast practice recap is live!
• JALEN HURTS UPDATE: More up and down from Hurts.
The good: He kicked 11-on-11s off with a completion to Travis Fulgham, who used his size and strength to shield off Steve Nelson, on an out route. He hit an open Zach Ertz in stride for a 20-yard gain. He aired it out deep to Quez Watkins, who burned Nelson, for an easy-looking touchdown in 7-on-7. (Second straight practice where Watkins has made a big play down the field.)
The bad: Hurts threw a little behind Fulgham as the receiver was running a slant in the end zone, though the ball still could’ve been caught. Hurts overthrew a short pass with pressure in his face from Derek Barnett blowing up Andre Dillard. Hurts overthrew Jalen Reagor deep down the left sideline as the ball sailed out of bounds (Carson Wentz-esque).
I actually thought Hurts had a better day than I did before re-reading my notes on him. I do feel like there was more good than bad.
• EAGLES INJURY REPORT: The big news is that DeVonta Smith is being described as “week-to-week” with a knee sprain. NFL insider Adam Schefter followed up by saying Smith is expected to miss two to three weeks with a sprained MCL. For what it’s worth, the team doesn’t believe the injury to be serious, saying they expect him back sooner than later. The Eagles also believe Smith’s advanced ability makes them more comfortable in being extra cautious with his return. We might not see much, if any, of Smith in the preseason games.
Ryan Kerrigan left practice early after getting banged up in an 11-on-11 series. He was looking at his hand while walking with a trainer back into the NovaCare Complex facility. Didn’t even make a trip to the trainer's tent.
Brandon Brooks is still out. He spoke after practice and downplayed the severity. He thinks he might see a little playing time in the preseason considering his last snap came in December 2019.
Nate Herbig got banged up late in practice. He was down on the ground in pain before limping off to stand with the rest of the team watching 11-on-11. Herbig had been filling in for Isaac Seumalo, putting the Eagles down to their third-string option at left guard: Sua Opeta.
Jalen Reagor appeared to be a full participant for the first time this summer. Good to see.
Andrew Adams was on the practice field for the first time this summer. The veteran safety missed the first four days while being on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He wasn’t participating in practice, though, as much as he was doing some conditioning work on a side field.
Jason Croom (knee) was newly absent from practice. He’s day-to-day.
Michael Walker was evaluated in the tent for a bit. He’s a long shot to make the team but it’s not ideal for the Eagles to be dealing with more injuries at an already banged-up receiver position.
• LEFT TACKLE BATTLE: Another down day for Dillard. He got beat by Josh Sweat yet again in 1-on-1s, which prompted Jeff Stoutland to give him some feedback. It initially looked like he had a win against Brandon Graham but the veteran pass rusher broke free with a counter. Jordan Mailata, meanwhile, did a really nice job of shutting down Barnett on one rep.
• Joe Flacco had his best day of camp. The former Super Bowl MVP made a nice throw while stepping up in the pocket to the right about 25 yards downfield to Tyree Jackson. Flacco then hit Jackson again in stride over the middle, putting the catchable ball high to only where the 6’7” tight end could get it. Still haven’t seen Flacco push the ball deep at any point.
• The Eagles successfully executed a red zone screen pass to Watkins for a touchdown. The receiver went untouched as he was able to follow his blockers to glory. Kind of refreshing to see the Eagles run a good screen play after being so bad in that department last year.
• Javon Hargrave had a nice “sack” on Hurts by generating pressure up the middle.
• Nick Mullens didn’t have his best practice. Missed some throws and underthrew a ball down the field that was easily picked off by rookie cornerback Zech McPhearson.
• It’s not uncommon for starting players who don’t play special teams to kinda just chill on the sideline during special teams drills. That’s not Miles Sanders. He’s taken advantage of his downtime by working with Jemal Singleton on different aspects of his game. Previously it was Singleton throwing passes to Sanders to work on his hands. Today it was Singleton working with Sanders on his route running and releases. Sanders has been honest about last year’s struggles and he appears to be putting in the work to correct those issues.
• Hard to fully gauge when the defense hasn’t been able to actually tackle yet but I feel like the Eagles’ offensive line has sprung a lot of big runs in camp. In general, run blocking has been stronger than pass protection.
• At least two drops from Fulgham today. He hasn’t been all bad by any means but he’s had a little too many of those for my liking.
• A couple of OL vs. DL 1-on-1 notes: Barnett used his bend ability to badly beat Jack Driscoll, which drew high fives from his fellow defensive linemen. Brett Toth got cooked by Joe Ostman. Opeta stuffed Raequan Williams.
UP NEXT: Things are about to go up a notch with the team having their first padded practice on Tuesday. Time to see who shines as camp gets more physical. Practice begins at 10:00 AM ET once again.