The Philadelphia Eagles officially announced three moves on Tuesday afternoon:
- LB Nakobe Dean was placed on injured reserve.
- LB Nicholas Morrow was signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.
- LB Rashaan Evans was signed to the practice squad.
Let’s sort through this news on a player-by-player basis.
Dean played 61.25% of the Eagles’ Week 1 snaps as the top off-ball linebacker before leaving the game with a foot injury.
By going on IR before Thursday night, Dean will miss at least the following four games:
- Week 2 vs. Minnesota Vikings
- Week 3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Week 4 vs. Washington Commanders
- Week 5 at Los Angeles Rams
Dean will be eligible to return for the Eagles’ Week 6 road game against the New York Jets. It’s currently unclear if he’ll definitely be ready to be activated at that point.
The Eagles will miss Dean to some extent. He graded out very well in run defense by Pro Football Focus against the New England Patriots. Pass coverage was an issue, however, with only Christian Elliss grading out worse than him.
Dean was also serving as the Eagles’ defensive signal-caller with the green dot on his helmet. Defensive coordinator Sean Desai noted that Elliss and Reed Blankenship split shared those duties after Dean left the game on Sunday. We’ll see how they handle the situation moving forward.
Morrow and Dean were the first-team linebackers early in training camp. But Morrow clearly fell out of favor, which prompted the Eagles to sign Zach Cunningham and Myles Jack. The Eagles were able to bring Morrow back on the practice squad after releasing him in the roster cuts down to 53.
With 46 career starts in 79 games played under his belt, Morrow does bring experience to the table. He also has familiarity with the Minnesota Vikings from his time playing for the Chicago Bears, for whatever that’s worth.
Elliss, Cunningham, and Morrow will all likely share playing time in Dean’s absence.
News of the Eagles signing Evans to the practice squad emerged on Monday. The No. 22 overall pick from the 2018 NFL Draft has made 67 starts in 76 games played.
PFF graded Evans 55th out of 90 off-ball linebackers last season. For context, Morrow was actually lower at 69th.
The Eagles will try to get Evans up to speed as fast as they possibly can to be ready in case there are more linebacker injuries. It’s also possible they eventually give him a shot if the guys ahead of him are really struggling and they want to try a new option.
EAGLES PRACTICE SQUAD
LB Rashaan Evans
OL Tyre Phillips
DT Thomas Booker
OT Le’Raven Clark
WR Devon Allen
WR Britain Covey
CB Mekhi Garner
OL Julian Good-Jones
DE Tarron Jackson
S Tristin McCollum
WR Joseph Ngata
TE Brady Russell
P Arryn Siposs
OL Brett Toth
LB Ben VanSumeren
WR Greg Ward