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Eagles Lose Elijah Riley to Jets, Waive CB Mac McCain

The Eagles cleared a roster spot Tuesday which will likely be used to promote Jordan Howard

PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles’ said goodbye to a couple of defensive backs on Tuesday.

Philadelphia waived rookie cornerback Mac McCain and also lost defensive back Elijah Riley, who left the Eagles’ practice squad for a 53-man roster spot for the New York Jets.

McCain, who arrived at the NovaCare Complex when signed off Denver’s PS in Week 1, was inactive for eight of the team’s first nine games.

The Eagles, of course, visit the Broncos in Week 10 this Sunday.

McCain was moved off the roster to presumably create a spot for Jordan Howard, the veteran running back who is now out of practice-squad elevations after playing for two consecutive weeks under that designation.

With normal starter Miles Sanders still on injured reserve for at least one more week, the Eagles need Howard, who has run it 29 times for 128 yards and three TDs over the past two weeks, to contribute in Denver.

"Jordan is playing good football right now," offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said. "When Miles comes back, we'll cross that bridge when it gets there. But right now, we're focused on Denver."

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The depth at CB is still significant with McCain hitting the waiver wire. The Eagles still have eight cornerbacks on the roster: starters Darius Slay, Steve Nelson, and Avonte Maddox as well as second-year man Josiah Scott, and rookies Zech McPhearson, and the recently-acquired Tay Gowan, and Kary Vincent Jr.

Special teams standout Andre Chachere also has CB/safety versatility and played in the slot when Maddox was banged-up against the Los Angeles Chargers this past Sunday.

The Jets, meanwhile, signed Riley to bolster their depth chart after losing starter Marcus Maye to a ruptured Achilles’.

In other practice-squad news, the Eagles brought back CB Craig James and protected three players this week: receiver John Hightower, offensive tackle Le’Raven Clark, and safety Jared Mayden.

The Eagles still have one slot open on their PS and could bring back McCain if he clears waivers on Wednesday.

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 -John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

Ed Kracz is the publisher of’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at or and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.