PHILADELPHIA – Rookie receiver Jalen Reagor and tight end Dallas Goedert look like they could be on track to play on Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys, catching passes cleanly and making some decent cuts in patterns during Wednesday's practice.
Clean catches are important for Reagor, who also worked on returning punts, since he is coming off thumb surgery. For Goedert, the ability to cut pain-free is equally important since he suffered a broken ankle on Sept. 27.
That’s a decision rendered after watching about 15 minutes of practice, the usual allotted time on a Wednesday.
Jason Peters practiced as well, and if you listened closely to head coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz in their Zoom interviews, Peters could be stepping in for Jordan Mailata at left tackle this week. Perhaps Mailata moves to right tackle because Lane Johnson didn’t practice.
“I know that Jason Peters has been doing this for a long time,” said Wentz. “He’s been rock solid every time he’s in there. And he’s going to be in my opinion a future hall of famer. One of the best to do it. I’ve been very thoroughly impressed with Mailata and all these guys up front who have had to fill in and step in.
“But as soon as JP is back and healthy, I’m sure he’ll be ready to go and I’ll have confidence in whoever’s out there.”
Added Pederson: “Jordan (has) filled in nicely. He's done a great job, and I think that's a bright spot for us having seen him play and really play against some really good defensive ends or outside linebackers.
“We all know that Jason Peters feels comfortable at left tackle and he's a veteran player and if that's where we want to play him this week, even if he's available to play. It's just something that I think too with Jordan, again, the reps, the time on task is just valuable and something he can learn from as he progresses and moves forward. So, it gives us a lot more depth now at the offensive line position, that's for sure.”
As for Johnson, well, just because he didn’t practice due to his continually ailing ankle, doesn’t mean he won’t play.
“If Lane feels comfortable in playing and getting out there then listen, I'm not going to be the one that stands in his way,” said Pederson.
Here’s the Eagles dilemma: they have just two open roster spots after putting DeSean Jackson and Hassan Ridgeway on IR earlier in the week.
After one injury after another, it’s a good dilemma to have to get some key players back.
“It’s just exciting to have everybody back at practice,” said linebacker Alex Singleton. “You kind of feel that team camaraderie coming back together, just bringing all the guys and seeing guys you haven’t seen make plays in a while make plays. It builds that energy up for a week.”
With Reagor, Goedert, LB T.J. Edwards, S Rudy Ford, and Peters eligible to come off IR, three roster moves will need to be made, assuming all five are ready to come off IR this week.
Here some options:
Waive guard Sua Opeta. It wasn’t exactly a work of art for the Opeta in his first NFL start on Thursday night. Cut him and try to bring him back to the practice squad.
Place WR Alshon Jeffery on IR: The Eagles WR is recovered from foot surgery but now he has a calf injury. The Eagles have kept him on the roster this long, rather than keeping him on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP) at the start of the season, but they can now move him to IR with the new injury. The Eagles don’t seem in any rush to activate Jeffery as they no doubt look to deal him before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Waive TE Jason Croom. OK, he played one snap and caught a touchdown pass against the Ravens, but with Goedert coming back, he’s a spare part.
Waive Hakeem Butler. The same could be said with Butler, who the Eagles claimed off the practice squad of the Carolina Panthers. It wasn’t really his fault that he didn’t catch a fourth-down, goal-to-go fade pattern against the Giants in his only snap.
Place Jack Driscoll on IR. The rookie looks like he will miss his second straight game with an ankle injury. Just how bad isn’t known.
Waive Quez Watkins: The sixth-round WR has played just five snaps this season after starting the year on IR. The Eagles could hope to bring him back to the practice squad, but that is how they lost seventh-round defensive end Casey Toohill, who was claimed by the Washington Football Team.
Eagles who sat out Wednesday’s practice were: OL Jack Driscoll (ankle), LB Nathan Gerry (ankle), CB Craig James (hamstring), WR Alshon Jeffery (calf), and RB Miles Sanders (knee).
Limited were defensive end Genard Avery (elbow) and defensive tackle Malik Jackson (quad).
Rookie safety K’Von Wallace (neck) was a full participant.
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