Ten takeaways from day fifteen of Eagles Training camp

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Today marked the first practice since the win over Tampa Bay on Thursday night and it was met with a mix of emotions. Some players were looking to build on the foundations planted against the Bucs while others have demons to overcome, be it on the field or off of it. Here are ten takeaways from today’s practice.

Injury update:
We’ll start with the positives. Malcolm Jenkins, Brandon Brooks, Wendell Smallwood, Marcus Johnson, Marcus Smith and Jason Peters all returned to practice today, albeit in limited capacity.

Mychal Kendricks is still sidelined with a hamstring injury while Mike Martin was also absent. Rookie cornerback Jalen Mills suffered a hamstring injury and missed practice today, joining Hunter Sharp and Jordan Matthews on the list of those who missed Saturday’s action.

Chris Givens and Ron Brooks reportedly left practice early today..it’s currently not known if the two are injured, but with it being the hottest day of Camp so far it could just be a cramp.

Jordan Matthews was still sidelined with the injury picked up last week but is expected to be back by the Eagles preseason week 3 matchup. Fellow wide receiver Josh Huff didn’t practice either.

Carson Wentz missed all of the team activities today due rib soreness after a hit sustained on Thursday night. Doug Pederson expects the rookie to be back at practice tomorrow night and ready to play the Steelers on Thursday.

 

Paul Turner taking first team slot reps:
In the absence of Matthews, Huff and Givens..it was undrafted wideout Paul Turner who stepped up. After leading the Eagles in receiving yards on Thursday night, Turner looked to  assert himself in the battle for a roster spot.

The Wentz-Turner connection amounted for six passes on Thursday and with a huge window of opportunity, the undrafted receiver looks to be making the most of it.

 

Watkins watch:
Jaylen Watkins shone on Thursday with several vital pass breakups and tackles. The corner who’s recently transitioned to Safety appeared to have another impressive practice today.

Watkins looks hungry..the battle for the backup Safety spot has become a lot more interesting in recent days, but it looks like Watkins seems to be the man leading the charge as of right now.

 

Defensive culture:
We’re all aware of how aggressive the Defense of Jim Schwartz is primed to be..but it all starts on the practice field. From intense coaching to hard hits, the players have a newly found ruthlessness about them..and again, it seemed to be apparent in camp.

The Eagles only allowed 31 rushing yards on Thursday in what was an impressive performance. The players are approaching practice like that was just the start.

 

Life without Lane:
The Eagles Offensive line appears to be preparing for 10 games without franchise Tackle Lane Johnson who faces his second suspension for a PED violation. So how are things looking?

It’s interesting to see that Seumalo is taking the first team LG reps as opposed to Stefen Wisniewski, that’s something we’ll need to pay close attention to as time goes on. But it’s clear the Eagles are planning for the worst.

 

Drops:
After Thursday night’s performance, drops were always going to be something that the team focused on moving forward. It doesn’t look like much progress has been made however.

This isn’t exactly the most reassuring thing to read after a very inconsistent WR camp and even tougher preseason opener.

 

Agholor tries to bounce back..but struggles:
Nelson Agholor is now primed to see an increased workload with Huff, Givens and Matthews all absent..but he’s struggling to make the most of it.

Agholor struggled on Thursday night despite some flashes of impressive route running. The second year receiver simply HAS to improve if he is to retain his spot on the depth chart.

 

Bradford inaccurate: 
It’s been a strong but inconsistent camp from Bradford who only saw one drive on Thursday…that started inside the redzone. Should he have seen more? Arguably.

If he keeps struggling to find his targets, it might be a good idea to have him play more than a short drive against the Steelers.

 

Hart proving a point:
Taylor Hart had an impressive showing against the Bucs and with a depth battle ensuing between himself and the undrafted rookies, he needs to keep up this level of play to secure his spot on the roster.

This kind of run-stopping is what made him so enticing coming out of college and what we had previously hoped to see when on the field for the Eagles. Could 2016 finally be the year Hart emerges as a reliable run-stopping backup?

 

Rowe struggles:
In my opinion, Eric Rowe was the best corner for the Eagles on Thursday..but it’s Training camp where he’s been suffering the “hiccups”..

..and hose hiccups appear to have resurfaced. Rowe is currently sat behind Mills on the depth chart and will need another strong showing against the Steelers in order to reclaim that spot.

 

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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