- S C.J. Gardner-Johnson and DE Robert Quinn were activated from injured reserve.
- LB Shaun Bradley and DE Janarius Robinson were placed on injured reserve.
- P Brett Kern was signed from the practice squad to the active roster.
Let’s sort through this news on a player-by-player basis.
CJGJ suffered a lacerated kidney (ouch) during the Eagles’ Week 12 win over the Green Bay Packers. He was eligible to return from IR as soon as Week 17 but he seemingly needed more time to heal.
CJGJ still leads the NFL interceptions (in a tie with Justin Simmons and Tariq Woolen) despite missing five games. The Eagles are happy to be getting a playmaker back in the lineup.
It remains to be seen exactly where CJGJ will play. With Avonte Maddox out, there’s some logic to putting him in the slot. CJGJ almost exclusively played as a nickel cornerback with the New Orleans Saints, after all.
But it’s not like the Eagles have ruled Maddox out for the year; they haven’t placed him on IR. And it’s possible the team is more comfortable with Josiah Scott handling that role with CJGJ playing on the back end. If that’s the case, CJGJ’s return means a decrease in playing time for undrafted rookie free agent Reed Blankenship. The man nicknamed ‘Ghost’ showed some promise while filling in for CJGJ.
CJGJ’s return in this spot allows him to get re-acclimated to game speed while necessarily not having to play a regular snap workload ... assuming the Birds are eventually in a position to pull their starters against the Giants.
Quinn is also set to play for the first time since Week 12. He went on IR due to a knee scope.
Quinn wasn’t very productive prior to his injury; he logged just two total tackles and two quarterback hits in five games played earlier this season. We’ll see if the time off made a difference for him or if he’s going to be more of the same invisibility.
In any case, it’s good to get Quinn back with Josh Sweat missing this week’s game due to a neck injury. The veteran can at least be trusted to fill some snaps to lessen the workload of the other defensive ends.
Bradley suffered a wrist injury in Week 17. He returned to the game after getting banged up and was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. But then he didn’t practice on Friday and was officially ruled out of Week 18’s game.
By going on IR now, Bradley is likely ineligible to return this season since he’s required to miss four games. If the BIrds don’t blow their shot at the No. 1 seed, they’ll only play a maximum of four games the rest of this season (Week 18, divisional round, NFC Championship Game, Super Bowl). Bradley would be eligible to play in the Super Bowl if the Eagles are not the No. 1 seed.
Bradley ranks second in Eagles special teams snaps played this year, only behind Zech McPhearson. Losing him is not ideal ... but he became a bit more expendable with the team signing Christian Elliss from the practice squad to the roster.
For the second time this season, Robinson popped up on the injury report with an issue that required him to go on IR right as the team was looking to open roster spots. What a coincidence!
Robinson has still yet to play an NFL snap in his career. The Eagles signed him away from the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad earlier this season. He’ll likely be in camp to compete for a roster spot in the offseason.
Kern was out of practice squad elevations after being bumped up each of the last three weeks. The Eagles could’ve opted to sign another punter to their practice squad for one week and relied on the unlimited postseason elevations (two per game but no limit for each player) to utilize Kern. But they instead decided to put the veteran on the roster.
Not so sure Kern was worth the roster spot. He has not been so great thus far, albeit in a very small sample size.
Kern ranks 33rd out of 36 punters graded by Pro Football Focus this season. His net average ranks tied for 32nd out of 36. He is 36th out of 36 in hang time (3.85 average).
Of course, it’s worth noting that Arryn Siposs is eligible to return from IR in the divisional round. But it’s unclear if he’s going to be healthy enough to punt then or at any point in the playoffs.
- The Eagles did not activate OT Brett Toth despite opening his 21-day practice window earlier this week.
- In case you missed it on Friday evening, the Eagles waived Sua Opeta.