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Eagles roster moves announced ahead of Cardinals game

Avonte Maddox is officially back, plus the Eagles elevate an LB from the practice squad and put a TE on IR.

NFL: OCT 22 Dolphins at Eagles Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles officially announced three roster moves ahead of their Week 17 New Years Eve game against the Arizona Cardinals. An overview:

  • CB Avonte Maddox was officially activated off IR,
  • LB Brandon Smith was temporarily elevated from the practice squad,
  • TE Albert Okwuegbunam was put on IR.

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 second straight elevation for Smith.

Let’s sort through this news on a player-by-player basis.


AVONTE MADDOX

The veteran CB’s return has been expected, and the excitement around the building has been palpable leading up to this moment. Maddox will be back on the field Sunday against the Cardinals, and will add a much-needed spark for the Eagles’ defense.

Maddox was only able to play in two games at the beginning of the season before being sidelined, and a lot of his teammates expressed their eagerness about getting him back in the game.

Darius Slay is still out recovering from knee surgery, so this added depth is coming in at the perfect time. Especially with the team hoping to win out and get top NFC seeding.

BRANDON SMITH

The Eagles still need extra depth at linebacker this week with Zach Cunningham downgraded to doubtful for Sunday’s game with a knee injury, and Nicholas Morrow also unexpected to play as he deals with an abdomen injury.

Smith was elevated from the practice squad last week against the Giants, his first time this season, and took 62 percent of the Eagles’ special teams snaps. He recorded his first tackle of the year, and did enough for the team to want him around against the Cardinals.

ALBERT OKWUEGBUNAM

The Eagles’ tight end was listed as questionable earlier in the week with a hamstring injury, but was downgraded to out early Saturday. Just a few hours later, the TE was added to Injured Reserve, ending any chance that he returns during the regular season.

Albert O got some playing time in four games this season, overlapping with the injuries to Dallas Goedert and Grant Calcaterra, but was only targeted once. With the third-year TE now done, there are only three tight ends left on the active roster: Goedert, Calcaterra, and Jack Stoll. The Eagles do have Noah Togiai on the practice squad, as well,

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