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Eagles training camp observations: 2 players waived before practice; lineman makes surprising return | 6 takeaways from 12th


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Eagles training camp observations: 2 players waived before practice; lineman makes surprising return | 6 takeaways from 12th workout

Updated Aug 14, 2021; Posted Aug 14, 2021

By Mike Kaye | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles worked in shells and shorts on Saturday during their 12th practice of training camp at the NovaCare Complex. The workout was the first since their preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday.

The Eagles are preparing for joint practices and a preseason game against the New England Patriots next week.

PREVIOUS PRACTICE OBSERVATIONS: Practice 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Here are six observations from Saturday’s practice:

Roster moves come early

The Eagles had 91 players (including internationally exempt DE Matt Leo) on their roster last night. When practice began, they had just 89.

The Eagles waived TE Caleb Wilson and RB-turned-WR Adrian Killins before the workout. Wilson and Killins were practice squad players last year, and they saw some limited time in games due to injuries.

Wilson had a bad holding penalty on a big run by RB Jason Huntley in Thursday’s preseason loss to the Steelers. Killins was targeted on QB Nick Mullens’ second interception of the preseason opener.

With Wilson off the roster, the Eagles still have Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Tyree Jackson, Richard Rodgers, Jason Croom and rookie Jack Stoll at tight end. With Killins gone, the Eagles still have DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Quez Watkins, Travis Fulgham, John Hightower, Greg Ward, Jhamon Ausbon, Marken Michel, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Andre Patton at wide receiver.

The Eagles need to get down to 86 players by Tuesday afternoon. With the Eagles hosting a walkthrough on Sunday, the remaining three roster moves are likely to happen before that workout.

Big injury news

Veteran OT Le’Raven Clark (Achilles) was surprisingly activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list before practice. Clark suffered an Achilles tendon injury last year, which forced him to undergo season-ending surgery.

The outlook on Clark’s signing in the summer was that he had experience with head coach Nick Sirianni’s offense from their time together with the Indianapolis Colts, and he could eventually serve as insurance at the swing tackle spot.

Clark’s return is significant for two reasons: A) he has to be cut or be on the main roster in Week 1 because he can’t be on PUP anymore, and B) with Andre Dillard (knee) sidelined, Clark could make the former first-round pick expendable. Unlike Dillard, Clark has positional versatility, and he could allow the Eagles to seek out a trade for Dillard if he’s able to make it into the final preseason game against the Jets.

In negative news, RB Kerryon Johnson is being evaluated for a knee injury. His status has been left open-ended by the team. Johnson has struggled with knee injuries in the past, and that’s a large reason why the Detroit Lions eventually moved on from the second-round pick.

The severity of Johnson’s injury is worth monitoring.

Jalen Hurts works middle of the field

The Eagles’ QB1 had a nice workout. He seemed to be working the middle of the field in team drills on purpose.

Hurts started 11-on-11 work with a bullet to WR Quez Watkins, who ran a slant route and was set up for yards after the catch nicely due to the placement of the ball. A few plays later, Hurts connected with WR J.J.Arcega-Whiteside on a slant route, and the wideout picked up plenty of yards after the catch.

Hurts’ best throw of the day came in red-zone 7-on-7 drills. TE Zach Ertz ran an out-route against CB Darius Slay and made a leaping catch off a well-placed ball from Hurts in corner of the end zone. Ertz landed on the grass and secured the catch. After the play, a giddy Ertz jumped up in the air as he gave TEs coach Jason Michael a high-five.

Defensive Play of the Day

During the second 11-on-11 series, DE Josh Sweat dominated LT Jordan Mailata on a first-team rep for a sack. Sweat used his fast get-off and hands to turn Mailata inside, and the DE worked around the LT to get to Hurts for the "sack.” After the play Sweat did his "wiping the sweat off my eyebrows” sack celebration.

Sweat and Mailata have had pretty even battles thus far, but this rep was noticeably one-sided. Sweat is having an unreal training camp to this point.

Let’s talk about Travis Fulgham...

While Fulgham made quite a few plays during the first week of camp, he’s had trouble with drops throughout the summer. He had another bad drop during 11-on-11 drills in practice on Saturday, which has been a nearly daily issue for him. He seems to be more of a body-catcher than a hand-catcher, an attribute that was kind of noticeable during his big-game streak last year.

Hurts still has confidence in Fulgham, as he went right back to him after the drop. However, the pass was way too high for Fulgham to grab over the middle. Fulgham hasn’t taken advantage of first-round wideout DeVonta Smith’s absence, and if anyone is going to suffer from the rise of Watkins, it’s likely going to be the Old Dominion alum.

Injury status stuff

The following players were limited on Sunday:

  • DB Grayland Arnold (hamstring) - returned to practice
  • LB Genard Avery (groin) - returned to practice
  • OT Le’Raven Clark (Achilles) - activated from PUP
  • TE Jason Croom (knee)
  • DE Matt Leo (COVID list)
  • LG Isaac Seumalo (hamstring)

The following players didn’t practice and are listed as day-to-day:

  • RB Jason Huntley (ribs) - new injury
  • CB Craig James (foot)
  • WR DeVonta Smith (knee)
  • S K’Von Wallace (groin) - upgraded status

The following players didn’t practice and are listed as week-to-week:

  • OT Andre Dillard (knee)
  • WR John Hightower (groin)
  • LB JaCoby Stevens (hamstring)
  • LB Davion Taylor (calf)
  • OT Casey Tucker (biceps)
  • * RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) doesn’t have a status, but he also didn’t practice.
QB EVALUATIONS: Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11
  • Former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy was at practice. He was Sirianni and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen’s boss when he was at the helm.
  • NWSL soccer star Julie Ertz (ever heard of her?) was at practice supporting her husband, Zach, on Saturday. Julie stayed after practice and sat on the field as Zach caught passes from the JUGs machine. Zach was noticeably more upbeat during this workout than in previous practices. That’s probably not a coincidence.
  • RB Elijah Holyfield, who seems destined for a training camp departure, had two brutal drops in team drills. The first was a ball that hit off his knee. With Huntley and Johnson are sidelined, Holyfield might be able to avoid the initial cut.
  • Third-string QB Nick Mullens had a very nice throw for a TD during 7-on-7 red-zone work. He connected with recently returned WR Marken Michel in the left corner of the end zone.
  • Rookie CB Zech McPhearson broke up a floating pass from second-string QB Joe Flacco to WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in 11-on-11 drills. Following the play, Sirianni loudly praised McPhearson for making the leaping breakup in coverage.
  • CB Michael Jacquet, who had an up-and-down evening against the Steelers, seems to hold his opponent on nearly every coverage play. That’s worth monitoring in the preseason as he tries to earn a job on the roster. Sirianni is a stickler when it comes to sloppy football.


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Fulgham is likely to have a big role on this offense purely because he offers something that no other WR does right now. He has that size and ability to go and get the ball. 

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