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Examining the Eagles' Saturday Roster Moves

The Eagles made a flurry of moves Saturday in advance of their playoff game against the Bucs in Tampa. Here's what they mean

TAMPA - The Eagles made a flurry of moves Saturday in advance of their wild-card playoff encounter with the Tempa Bay Buccaneers, some with obvious intent and others coming as a bit of a surprise.

The natural move and one coach Nick Sirianni already foreshadowed earlier in the week was veteran tight end Richard Rodgers being signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster as the replacement for Tyree Jackson, who tore his ACL in the Week 18 encounter against the Dallas Cowboys.

While the Eagles love Jackson's long-term upside as a developmental tight end, in the short term an eight-year veteran with 10 playoff games under his belt over the years like Rodgers is probably better equipped to help for 60 minutes against the reigning Super Bowl champions on Sunday afternoon.

The Philadelphia offense has gone far heavier into 12 and 13 personnel after the first game against Tampa this season in Week 6 and the ensuing mini-bye.

Rodgers will fit the TE3 behind star Dallas Goedert and undrafted rookie Jack Stoll, who both missed Week 18 on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

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Speaking of COVID, rookie defensive tackle Marlon Tuipuloto was placed on the list and the COVID elevation for him was another freshman on the other side of the line scrimmage, offensive lineman Kayode Awosika.

Typically, Tuipuloto doesn't play much and the Eagles defense will only lean more on Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave in the postseason with emerging rookie Milton Williams and Hassan Ridgeway offering plenty of depth.

Awosika can play guard or tackle and the Eagles' depth was banged up in Week 18 losing Brett Toth for the season with a knee injury and Andre Dillard being forced to leave the game, although he's on track to play against the Bucs.

Meanwhile, starting RG Nate Herbig is listed as questionable for Sunday and while he's expected to play it doesn't hurt to have another body just in case.

Sua Opeta and Jack Anderson will likely be the main interior backups on Sunday.

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The standard practice-squad elevations were edge rusher Cameron Malveaux and receiver KeeSean Johnson, the latter the biggest surprise because this is the first time Johnson will see playing time this season.

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First of all, remember that PS elevations are almost certainly pegged for the game-day roster because if they weren't going to play, they simply would not be elevated.

Malveaux has been in the lineup recently as both a COVID elevation and now this is the second and last time as a traditional elevation. He's insurance for Josh Sweat, who dealt with an illness this week that caused some abdominal pain, according to Sirianni.

A team source indicated Sweat was feeling better and he did travel to Florida so barring a setback the Eagles' best edge rusher will play.

Johnson, a former sixth-round pick of Arizona in 2019 out of Fresno State, is the replacement for J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who suffered a very serious finger injury that required surgery in Week 18.

Johnson was chosen over fellow PS receivers John Hightower and Deon Cain and considering Hightower was protected a team-high 12 times this season and still had one elevation left, that is a clear indication that Johnson is being brought up more to help with Michael Clay's special teams units than for the offense which will continue to rely on DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Jalen Reagor, and Greg Ward as its top four receivers on Sunday.

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-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com'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 PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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