Training Camp Thoughts Day 8: Andre Dillard Returns

Andre Dillard's absence from practice lasted only one full day after suffering a minr injury during Sunday's practice
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PHILADELPHIA - Andre Dillard's absence from practice wasn't a long one.

The second-year left tackle who is expected to take over the position this season left practice early Sunday and subsequently missed Monday's session with what was described as an upper-body injury.

By Tuesday Dillard was back in action, albeit in a scaled-back, 80-minute walkthrough session.

Jordan Mailata took the first-team reps while Dillard was sidelined and the two ping-ponged on Tuesday as Mailata missed the practice with his own upper-body injury, being listed as day-to-day moving forward.

Mailata is fighting for his roster life with sixth-round pick Prince Tega Wanogho racing up in the rear-view mirror, so any time on the sideline is not a positive development for the 6-foot-8 Aussie.

M*A*S*H REPORT: Along with Mailata, defensive ends Vinny Curry (lower body) and Genard Avery (illness) missed practice on Tuesday.

Curry, who has been with the first-team at RDE as Derek Barnett works back from an ankle injury, is listed as day-to-day. Avery left Monday's practice early and illness is probably better than injury for a young player battling with Shareef Miller, Joe Ostman, and rookie Casey Toohill for what might be the final roster spot on the edge.

Defensive tackles Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson took scheduled maintenance days.

Rookie receiver John Hightower and DT Anthony Rush both returned after missing two days with illnesses.

Those remaining on the shelf are running back Miles Sanders (lower body), tight end Josh Perkins (upper body), Barnett (ankle), DT Javon Hargrave (pec), cornerback Sidney Jones (lower body), and safety Marcus Epps (lower body).

A NEW TIGHT END: Perkins is out indefinitely and the Eagles officially signed former Seattle tight end Tyrone Swoopes, an ex-quarterback at the University of Texas to push the untested Noah Togiai, an undrafted rookie out of Oregon State with a basketball background, and Caleb Wilson, a waiver-wire pickup from Washington.

Swoopes, 25, was wearing No. 48 and got a crash course on the sideline from assistant TE coach Mike Bartrum.

To make room for Swoopes on the roster the Eagles waived/injured receiver Rob Davis, who will revert to injured reserve if he clears waivers. Davis was limping noticeably while watching practice on Sunday.

At 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, Swoopes spent the past three seasons with the Seahawks but played in just seven games.

TUTORS GALORE: The Eagles have tutors all over the field these days. You might see Darren Sproles coaching up Jalen Reagor on punt returns or Adrian Killins in his role as a hybrid running back/receiver, Brent Celek taking an interest in the tight ends or Connor Barwin helping Casey Toohill sure up his speed rush.

On Tuesday Reagor got a long personal lesson with Jason Avant, the former king-sized slot receiver who is aiding the receivers during training camp as a part of the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Fellowship.

The lesson plan seemed to be on releases from the line of scrimmage and hand use when it comes to fighting off press coverage at the line of scrimmage.

RAEQUON OPPORTUNITY: With Cox and Jackson getting the day off and Hargrave still working his way back from a strained pec, the first-team defensive tackles were Hassan Ridgeway and undrafted rookie Raequan Williams, the latter of which was a bit of a surprise considering Rush was back from an illness.

With no preseason games to bolster their case when undrafted players like Williams get the chance to run with the ones, it's an opportunity to prove they belong.

"One thing about undrafted guys, they always come in hungry, ready to play, ready to work," said Ridgeway following practice. "That’s exactly what (Williams) does every day. Ready to work, ready to go. He doesn’t complain. Gets as many reps as he can. Trying to learn every single day.

"He’s going to benefit greatly from having all of the defensive tackles that we have in our room. He has so much help. He’s been absorbing everything that he can and trying to get better every day. And it’s shown on the field."

John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Friday on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, and every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SportsMap Radio. You can reach him at or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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