After trimming the roster down from 90 to 53, Howie Roseman and the Eagles front office went straight to work in building the Birds’ 10-man practice squad. The good news is, there are plenty of familiar faces.
The new guys
In fact, there are only two new additions to the roster. The first being QB Kyle Lauletta, who was formerly of the New York Giants. Lauletta essentially replaces Clayton Thorson (who is now in Dallas), the Eagles’ fifth-round selection in this year’s draft who turned out to be a little disappointing. The Eagles want to get back to drafting quarterbacks on a yearly basis or developing them. Thorson was a miss, but Lauletta has enough talent to tide that intent over to next offseason as a fourth-round selection himself just one year ago.
While preseason is hardly a reliable grading scale for QB’s, going 37/62 for 453 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions this preseason is notable.
Secondly, enter 5’8, 190 lbs WR Marcus Green, who was selected in the sixth-round in this year’s draft. Green projects to have a special teams ceiling due to his return experience, but amassed 3,190 scrimmage yards and 24 touchdowns for Louisiana-Monroe.
The big names
The Eagles parted ways with two preseason standouts in the way of LB Alex Singleton and WR Greg Ward Jr, but both return to the practice squad. Ward Jr. has never been claimed off waivers and it’s believed Singleton decided to remain with the Eagles despite interest from the CFL.
Ward Jr. tallied 87 receiving yards this preseason, while Alex Singleton rallied to bring down the ball-carrier 15 times in one game last Thursday. It’s very encouraging to see both return. Keeping talent on a roster this deep was always going to be difficult, but retaining two very impressive preseason standouts is a big win for the Eagles.
Tight end worry over?
The Eagles only kept two tight ends on the active roster which rung alarm bells at first, but both Alex Ellis, who flashed receiving excellence last Thursday and totaled 28 yards and a touchdown this preseason, and Joshua Perkins, return to the practice squad. It’s likely that one of these players receives a call-up soon, likely when someone like Nate Sudfeld or Cre’Von LeBlanc potentially hits IR. The Eagles would be playing a dangerous game, keeping two tight ends on the active roster. We may even see Nate Herbig waived and stashed on this unit, or a ‘phantom IR’ for someone else. But the Eagles were clearly confident they could keep both players and that confidence paid off.
Elsewhere, Sua Opeta and Bruce Hector return to the squad. Hector’s return could be key given that the Eagles only have four active defensive tackles.
Running back Boston Scott (a favorite of ours) also makes his way to the practice squad, which is a big deal. Scott saw action as the team’s primary kickoff returner late in the 2018 campaign and had it not been for the re-signing of Darren Sproles, would’ve been a shoo-in to make the final 53.
The Eagles have one practice squad spot remaining, giving them some flexibility ahead of week one to take advantage of any late roster moves from the 31 other teams all scrambling to find the best players to fit their culture.