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Training Camp Thoughts Day 14: DeVonta Smith Returns

The Eagles had another sharp practice with the New England Patriots

PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles finished up another sharp practice session against the New England Patriots in advance of Thursday’s preseason game between the two teams at Lincoln Financial Field.

Tuesday’s practice was of a shorter variety than Monday’s two-hour affair and it focused a lot on red-zone work in both a team environment and in 7-on-7 drills.

Working on separate fields, the Philadelphia offense and defense again seemed to pile up more splash plays.

For the offense, it was a wide receiver day for a number of reasons, starting with the return of DeVonta Smith to team drills.

The first-round pick was sprinkled in as more of a decoy when he was out there but the fact that Smith was allowed back on the field after spraining his MCL on July 31 is a very good sign.

On the field, Jalen Reagor amazed onlookers with another one-handed grab over Pats CB Michael Jackson, using an impressive vertical leap and top-tier body control to stay inbounds for the touchdown.

As far as consistency, the embattled J.J. Arcega-Whiteside may have been the best player on the day, using his size to dominate in the red zone.

The one WR who struggled was Travis Fulgham, who couldn’t seem to deal with the physicality of 6-foot-3 Pats CB Joejuan Williams.

Defensively, linebackers T.J. Edwards and Alex Singleton victimized Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer, respectively, for interceptions in the red zone.


When Smith was out there, he and Jalen Reagor played outside with Quez Watkins working from the slot. That could be the Eagles plan for Week 1 in Atlanta with Greg Ward serving as the fallback if Watkins can’t finish his strong summer.


With Genard Avery still limited with a groin injury and Joe Ostman out with a concussion, rookie Patrick Johnson got the first-team reps at SAM linebacker and the former edge rusher from Tulane made one count while dropping into pass coverage and knocking down a Cam Newton pass ticketed for a receiver n the end zone.


Speaking of Netwon, the former MVP was saddled with the nickname “Checkdown Cam” by second-year safety k’Von Wallace, which may seem presumptuous considering Wallace is still a young player feeling his way but Wallace is correct. Whether by design or not the Pats rely on throwing underneath an awful lot.


After a down day, Tyree Jackson was back wowing people with his size and athleticism. First, he snared a Joe Flacco pass in the end zone punctuated with a Gronk-like spike of the football.

Later, he made an even better catch, using every inch of his 6-7 frame to go up in the air before landing hard o his back on the end line, knocking the wind out of the QB-turned tight end.

Bill Belichick prior to the start of Tuesday's Eagles-Patriots practice

Patrtios coach Bill Belichick


There were a number of new names on the Eagles’ injury list with the good news being that all of them were listed day-to-day.

Defensive end Derek Barnett (shoulder), defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (ankle), offensive lineman Luke Juriga (ankle), and kicker Jake Elliott (ankle) were unable to practice Tuesday.

The only noticeable injury on Monday was Juriga leaving for the medical tent and limping pretty badly when coming out. 

Elliott, meanwhile, is the only kicker in camp, meaning if he is unable to play Thursday the Eagles will either have to have punter Aaaryn Siposs kick or bring someone else in for the game.

Rookie LB JaCoby Stevens (hamstring) was upgraded to day-to-day from the week-to-week category and was seen with a large sleeve covering his entire right leg.


Arcega-Whiteside gave the Pats fits with his size in the red zone, hauling in two TD passes and while Eagles fans don’t want to here this he’s played very well the past week or so just as Fulgham has hit the skids.

Both WRs stayed after practice to get in extra work with coaching intern Eddie Royal, who was cited pre-practice by Nick Sirianni for helping the young WRs.

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.