Come on down, Brett Toth, you’re the next contestant on the Eagles offensive line.
Signed to the roster on Oct. 7 after being waived by the Cardinals, Toth will replace Jordan Mailata in the lineup and make his first NFL start. It will be his first start of any kind since played offensive line for Army against Navy in the 2017 game played at snow-bound Lincoln Financial Field.
Weird things have been going on all season long due to injuries with this OL, so Toth’s start simply fits that pattern with him, three years later, making his first start in the same venue he made his last start.
This will be the 14th different starting offensive line combination the Eagles will have used this year, far and away an NFL record. They have had to put seven O-linemen on Injured Reserve this year, with Isaac Seumalo the only one to return after missing eight games due to knee surgery.
“I’ve had to be ready all season,” said Toth. “You’ve seen the kind of season it’s been. Everyone’s getting banged up, and Stout (OL coach Jeff Stoutland) always talks about how it’s next man up and you have to be ready for your time to come.
“I'm ready for the opportunity. It’s going to be exciting.”
Mailata was one of nine Eagles ruled out on Friday for Sunday’s game against the visiting Washington Football Team, the victim of what looked like a cheap shot headbutt from Dallas linebacker Jaylon Smith in last week’s game.
Smith may regret delivering the cheap shot because Toth is still very raw, with just 18 snaps to his credit.
Toth wouldn’t say whether he will take Mailata’s spot at left tackle or whether or not he would step in at right tackle and Matt Pryor would slide to the left side. He said that he can swing either side and play guard, too.
Either way, the Eagles are down to deep reserves at tackle.
Toth came out of West Point and joined the Eagles in August of 2019 after President Donald Trump put a policy in place that allows athletes graduating from military academies to fulfill their four-year service commitment in capacities that allow them to fulfill their professional dreams.
He arrived weighing 275 pounds and was viewed as a project. He was released after training camp. The Eagles wanted to add him to the practice squad, but, instead, Arizona swooped in and signed him to their roster. He did not appear in any games with the Cardinals.
“I got like 10 days here,” said Toth about his short, first time with the Eagles. “You can definitely feel the energy in this offensive line room. It’s very serious. “
Toth said he struggled with a hamstring injury while with Arizona and that led to his release.
While in Arizona, Toth served his military obligation by teaching in the ROTC program at Arizona State. He said he will do the same thing this offseason, only he will do it at Temple University.
As for his weight, Toth said he is up to 315 and has “good body (composition)” with that increase of 40 pounds from the summer of 2019.
“I was excited to come back, get with an offensive line here with some great guys to learn behind, whether it be (Brandon) Brooks, Lane (Johnson), (Jason) Kelce,” he said. “Get back in the room with Stout. You understand what the standard is here as well. The biggest thing is they hold you accountable for every decision you make. You have to know the game plan. Again, every rep is important.”
He is still a project, saying that Stoutland views him as “a moldable guy.”
“He definitely likes trying to make me get flustered,” said Toth. “I guess it’s the background with the Army, you tell me what to do and I’m going to do it and I’m going to do it 100 percent. He likes the effort. He calls me a little crazy once in a while, but you kind of have to have that in you to be in this profession.”
Toth hopes to do well enough to continue his profession in the NFL, but Washington defensive ends Chase Young and Montez Sweat will make his first start at any level in three years very challenging indeed.
Get the latest Eagles news by joining the community. Click "Follow" at the top right of the EagleMaven page. Mobile users click the notification bell. And please follow me on Twitter @kracze.