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Eagles training camp practice notes: The running back rotation is very rotational

Observations from the NovaCare Complex.

Philadelphia Eagles Offseason Workout Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Today marked the first Philadelphia Eagles training camp practice ahead of the 2023 season! The session lasted for a little over an hour. Here’s what I observed at the NovaCare Complex. UPDATE: Today’s practice recap podcast for BGN Radio is live!


  • Sorry for the delay in getting today’s notes published. Our writing system was (still is?) having some issues on the back end. Annoying! They should typically be up sooner than this.
  • JALEN HURTS WATCH: Not the flashiest day for QB1. Of course, Hurts was limited to short fields since the Eagles were exclusively doing red zone work. His most impressive play of the day was when he dropped back, rolled left, and threw across his body to deliver a bullet to Dallas Goedert in the end zone. He sailed a couple of throws intended for sideline targets out of bounds.
  • EAGLES INJURY UPDATES: Relatively speaking, the Eagles are pretty healthy.

The team placed Devon Allen on the active/non-football injury list due to the calf issue he suffered in a track setting earlier this summer. Allen currently still counts against the 90-man roster limit but he will not immediately count against the 53 if the Eagles opt to keep him on that list into the regular season. In that sense, the injury might be actually be a good development for him as opposed to missing out on making a roster spot. But Allen missing reps and proving he deserves to stick around isn’t ideal.

Haason Reddick did not practice due to groin soreness. The Eagles said they expect him to be back on the field after this weekend.

Avonte Maddox and Derek Barnett were listed as limited. Neither player participated in 11-on-11 but Maddox was the first team nickel cornerback in 7-on-7.

No players noticeably got injured in this practice. That’s always a win.

  • EAGLES ROSTER UPDATES: The Eagles officially re-signed Deon Cain, who is now wearing No. 39 after rocking No. 85 last summer. Tough downgrade but it’s not like his options were good. The Eagles also released tight end Dalton Keene.

It was apparent today was the first day of camp. Looked pretty sloppy out there. No cause for major concern, to be clear. But definitely some things to collectively clean up moving forward. One such example: there was a sequence where there were three straight pre-snap penalties. Nick Sirianni was not happy about that and he let his players know by chewing them out through his megaphone. Other miscues included some bad drops, a terrible interception, a very low snap in the dirt, an unforced fumble … just wasn’t the most crisp practice I’ve ever seen.

  • DEPTH CHART NOTES, OFFENSE EDITION: Rashaad Penny was the first running back to take a carry with the first team. That said, the Eagles heavily rotated their backs, as Nick Sirianni said they would do prior to practice. Penny also saw work with the backup units. D’Andre Swift, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, and Trey Sermon all rotated as well.

As expected, Cam Jurgens was the first guy up at right guard. The second string offensive line looked like this: LT Roderick Johnson, LG Sua Opeta, C Brett Toth, RG Tyler Steen, RT Jack Driscoll. I’d guess it won’t be long before Dennis Kelly, who only just re-signed with the team, supplants Johnson at left tackle there.

  • DEPTH CHART NOTES, DEFENSE EDITION: Nakobe Dean and Nicholas Morrow were the first-team linebackers, though Christian Elliss split some time with Morrow.

Terrell Edmunds and Reed Blankenship were the first-team safeties.

The Eagles had Fletcher Cox and Milton Williams as the first-team defensive tackles in five man fronts with Jordan Davis manning the nose tackle position. Jalen Carter was with the second team.

Josh Jobe and Greedy Williams were the second team outside cornerbacks.

  • The only time I really noticed Nakobe Dean today is when he surrendered a touchdown to Dallas Goedert on a crossing pattern. In fairness, Goedert is pretty good. Especially in the red zone. The only guy who really had success guarding him down there was James Bradberry, who broke up two Hurts passes thrown to the top tight end. One of them was a really nicely timed diving effort that prevented a touchdown catch.
  • Christian Elliss continues to make plays, man. After catching a pass in the end zone today, he’s up to three interceptions through two media-attended OTA practices and one training camp practices. The Eagles might have something with this dude. That being said, Elliss did also participate in the young guy/bottom of the roster developmental period right before practice ends. So, that’s not the sign of a guy who’s established anything just yet.
  • Tyree Jackson missed all of training camp last year while he recovered from the ACL injury he suffered in Week 18 of the 2021 season. Prior to that year, he was pretty impressive in camp. Jackson had multiple catches today, including a touchdown grab where the ball was placed high to where only his 6’7” frame could pull it in.
  • Aside from his touchdown throw to Jackson, I was not impressed with Marcus Mariota. He was not helped by playing behind a second-string offensive line that was overmatched by the Eagles’ defensive line. Still, he had some bad overthrows (had a tight end open in the flat and missed him high) and he had the aforementioned interception to Elliss. Mariota also fumbled the ball while scrambling after getting pressured (but obviously not actually physically contacted) by Nolan Smith. Mariota failed to salvage a low snap by struggling to pick it up and then throwing it into the arms of a leaping Janarius Robinson for a deflection.
  • Swift saw of number of targets in the passing game. Unlike Miles Sanders, he looks like a natural pass-catcher. That said, he did bobble a catch that Tristin McCollum helped further disrupt to create a pick for Davion Taylor.
  • Nolan Smith was active and disruptive. I couldn’t be more confident he’s gonna be good. Jalen Carter also generated some pressure.
  • Reed Blankenship broke up a Hurts pass along the goal line in 7-on-7 and earned some praise from his teammates.
  • Tanner McKee and Ian Book split some third QB reps. Book connected with Trey Sermon for a catch-and-run touchdown. McKee had multiple short touchdown throws in goal-to-go situations. One of them was especially impressive; he was able to accurately put the ball on a tightly-covered Jadon Haselwood’s back shoulder for the score.

UP NEXT: The Eagles have a walkthrough on Thursday that’s closed to media access. They’ll return to action on Friday morning at 10:00 AM Eastern.

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