The Philadelphia Eagles officially announced seven moves on Thursday. An overview:
- T/G Jack Driscoll, TE Tyree Jackson, CB Josiah Scott were placed on injured reserve.
- DT Hassan Ridgeway was re-signed to the 53-man roster.
- WR KeeSean Johnson, TE Nick Eubanks, and DT Marvin Wilson agreed to terms to join the practice squad.
Let’s sort through this on a player-by-player basis.
Driscoll wasn’t an obvious IR candidate; he suffered a pectoral strain that we previously didn’t know about. His absence further justifies the Eagles keeping Brett Toth and Andre Dillard behind starters Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson. Philly also made it a point to retain Le’Raven Clark on the practice squad.
Driscoll figured to be top backup behind Johnson in addition to providing extra guard depth. The guess here is that Toth is now Johnson’s immediate backup, unless the team temporarily wants to elevate Clark for that role.
It’s unclear exactly how long Driscoll will be out. Note that players placed on IR during the regular season are eligible to be activated as soon as three weeks after going on the list.
It was said on August 18 that Jackson was going to miss 8-to-10 weeks due to a fractured bone in his back. It’s really a shame he got hurt since he was having such a strong camp, especially for being his first offseason of transitioning from quarterback to tight end.
The good news is that Jackson will be back at some point in October, assuming his recovery timeline holds true. The Eagles can activate him to be TE3 behind Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz. Or TE2 if/when they trade one of those guys?
Scott suffered a hamstring injury in the Eagles’ preseason finale against the Jets. He figured to be the top backup to Avonte Maddox in the slot in addition to contributing on special teams.
With Scott on IR, the Eagles now only have four cornerbacks on the 53: Darius Slay, Steve Nelson, Maddox, and Zech McPhearson. It seems like they’ll add another corner with one of their two open roster spots. Or perhaps they’ll bring Kevon Seymour back? Could make more sense to do that after Week 1 when his salary wouldn’t be guaranteed. Maybe they’ll just elevate Michael Jacquet from the practice squad in Week 1 before then bringing back Seymour. They have options.
In any case, hopefully Scott can return sooner than later. He did some good things in camp.
Ridgeway didn’t have a great camp but bringing him back makes some sense with the Eagles not particularly deep at defensive tackle. Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave are primed for big seasons. Behind them, it was only Milton Williams — who is also playing at defensive end — and Marlon Tuipulotu. The latter showed nothing in the preseason that indicates he’s ready to play right now. Re-signing Ridgeway prevents Mr. T from being forced into meaningful game action before he’s ready. Ridgeway will likely be replaced by T.Y. McGill once the latter is activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list at some point. Or, at least, that should happen.
We wrote about Johnson at length earlier on Thursday. Developmental wide receiver who has some game experience under his belt. Johnson is wearing the No. 17 jersey in Philly.
Eubanks is an unexpected addition. The former Michigan tight end signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted rookie free agent earlier this year. He offers the Eagles more depth at tight end depth behind Ertz, Goedert, and Jack Stoll on the roster.
Scouting report via NFL.com:
Eubanks possesses in-line tight end size but finesse tight end play traits. He has the speed to attack the seam and create occasional mismatches with linebackers, but will need to play faster and with more snap out of his turns as a route-runner. He can be a little slow to present to the quarterback, which creates challenges for him when throws are put right on top of him. He has both the agility and frame to improve as a contested-catch winner if he can improve his competitiveness. He’s more likely to wall off a defender than knock him off the spot as a drive blocker. His size and athleticism could be appealing as a developmental H-back, but he’ll need to be better than his 2020 tape to make a roster.
We wrote about Big Marv at length earlier on Thursday. He’s a developmental defensive tackle who was once highly thought of.
Side note: Not including Matt Leo (exemption), the Eagles filled 14 of their 16 practice squad spots on Wednesday. These three additions put them at 17, which is one player over the limit. They must be planning to cut one of their practice squadders once Wilson, who wasn’t seen at Thursday’s practice, officially signs his contract. UPDATE: The Eagles officially released Grayland Arnold from the practice squad.
Another side note: Interesting to see that Davion Taylor (calf) avoided being placed on injured reserve. It was believed he was going to make that list. Looks like he’ll be returning a little sooner than expected, though he still isn’t currently back at practice.
Yet another side note: Speaking of players not practicing, Dave Zangaro notes that Derek Barnett, K’Von Wallace, and Genard Avery ARE practicing after missing some of the later training camp practices due to injury.