- LB Brandon Smith and S Tristin McCollum were temporarily elevated from the practice squad.
Note: teams can temporarily promote practice squad players up to three times per season before they’re required to be exposed to waivers. This is the first elevation for Smith and second for McCollum.
Let’s sort through this news on a player-by-player basis.
With Zach Cunningham ruled out and Nicholas Morrow questionable to play, the Eagles were down to two healthy off-ball linebackers: Shaq Leonard and Ben VanSumeren. Elevating Smith means the Eagles will now have at least three players at that position ... and maybe a fourth if Morrow is able to suit up after not practicing all week.
Leonard, BVS, and Smith is obviously a pretty thin group. Leonard has looked cooked; it’s no surprise that the Indianapolis Colts cut him. BVS is an undrafted rookie free agent who’s yet to play a single defensive snap in the NFL. Smith, a 2022 fourth-round pick out of Penn State, played just 52 defensive snaps with the Carolina Panthers last year.
The Eagles shouldn’t need the best linebackers corps to beat the Giants. They can also try to work around this weakness with more DB-heavy packages.
Still, far from an ideal configuration.
The Eagles previously elevated McCollum when they were pretty banged up at safety earlier this season. This elevation gives the Eagles another special teams contributor in addition to more depth at safety. And more safety depth could be valuable with Reed Blankenship, Kevin Byard, and Sydney Brown all likely to see a lot of snaps like they did last week.