The Eagles have generally kept four tight ends on the roster, but this is the year I think — hope — they leave room for another position. This is especially true after news of Rodgers‘ untimely injury. There’s been no word yet on how serious the injury is. This will also depend on how limited Dallas Goedert will be after being sidelined for the rest of the preseason. Apparently, his calf injury is not new, and the coaching staff may ease him into the regular season to err on the side of caution.
My thought process is that there’s too much talent elsewhere on the roster to believe that both Will Tye and Joshua Perkins will make meaningful contributions. That being said, Tye had himself a nice evening in Jacksonville. Despite being out-snapped 43 to 39 by Perkins, it was the former that led tight ends in receptions and yards. Tye’s three receptions for 34 yards, while not overly eye-catching, came on some pretty significant downs.
Perkins had a quiet night except for a few holding penalties. Dependability is the name of the game at tight end, and Will has the edge after last week’s game. I believe Tye may end up winning, but currently, Perkins is holding on to that last spot due to familiarity. He has also been the better player in camp. The battle is a close one, and one to keep an eye on in the last two weeks.
Easily the most hotly contested position on the roster, it seems as if the final group will be whittled down to four. This past Thursday was a much better day from Miles Sanders. He showed a little juice on some impressive runs but more importantly was solid in pass protection. He still has a way to go through. He cannot afford to bounce every run to the outside like he was able to do in college and will need to learn some more patience in the NFL. Despite high hopes for the rookie, Jordan Howard should still receive a bulk of the carries in the early stages of the season.
Corey Clement is a curious case. The bottom four backs on the roster have been shedding blood sweat and tears on the field while Clement watches from the sidelines, recovering from a knee injury. At the same time, he’s been getting snaps with the first-team offense in camp. Clearly, the coaches are being careful with rushing him back, but does that mean his roster spot is guaranteed? Do any of the other backs have a chance at unseating him?
Although he’s slotted behind Wendell Smallwood and Josh Adams, Boston Scott has the best upside of the remaining backs. Think of it as a 5A, 5B and 5C scenario, with each bringing something different into the fold. Scott is so much like a young Darren Sproles it’s uncanny. There aren’t many backs in the league that would fill his shoes better. He led the team in rushing against the Jaguars and looked every bit the part, but did not have a great showing in the return game. Unfortunately, that may be his undoing. I’m not sure how they manage it, but I pray the team finds a way to keep Scott in Philadelphia.
The coaching staff has also heaped some praise onto second-year back Josh Adams. He looks much improved in the passing game and we all know what he’s capable of in the run game. Holding onto the football will be his biggest issue. He cannot afford another fumble this preseason. Can he entice the front office into keeping five running backs on the roster?
Wendell Smallwood is in a weird spot. The coaches know what he brings to the table and although he’s shown improvement, there seems to be a clear ceiling to his development. It being his third year, what can he do to show he’s more worthy of a position than the younger Adams? Smallwood is absolutely deserving of a spot on an NFL roster, but unfortunately, it may not be in Philadelphia.
Donnel Pumphrey finally showed some legs. He left a Jags defender grasping at air with a silky cut on an outside handoff. Chalk it up to too little too late for the jitterbug. Hopefully, he will get a shot in another city.
The new man on campus will slot right into the second QB spot. It will be interesting to see how the front office handles the situation when Nate Sudfeld returns from injury. As it stands, Suddy is the top-rated preseason QB and has earned the right to compete for the backup job. However, eventually cutting McCown after convincing him to come out of retirement seems like a very un-Eagles move to make.
Clayton Thorson had a much better outing in week two. Kessler, although he has cleared concussion protocol will have an uphill climb if he wants to challenge for a roster spot. I don’t think there’s any true possibility the Eagles keep four QBs, but if they were my money would be on Thorson. He’s younger, he’s hand-picked and he’s looked much improved over just a few weeks.
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