What we learned in Eagles’ first padded practice of 2020

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 CFP Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – Oklahoma v LSU
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 28: Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) during warms up before the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl CFP Semifinal college football game between the LSU Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners on Dec. 28, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.(Photo by Frank Mattia/Icon Sportswire)

The sun is shining, the grass is green, and the sound of pads thudding is filling the air once more. The Eagles are back at the NovaCare Complex for padded practices. Here’s everything you need to know from the opening day of a hotly anticipated phase of training camp.

Roster move

The Eagles started the day by parting ways with QB Kyle Lauletta and re-signed WR Marcus Green. Lauletta was my darkhorse to unseat Nate Sudfeld, but the Eagles sought to add some special teams value with a receiver who has been around the roster for a while now. They tried to bring him back before but the move reportedly fell through. Green will look to try and make his presence felt in the return game.

Eagles Injury update

Would it really be an Eagles practice without an injury report?

The most significant injury here is obviously that of Javon Hargrave. The highest-paid NT in the league missing multiple weeks at this stage of a shortened offseason is worrying. The Eagles suffered heartbreak after signing Malik Jackson last offseason and Timmy Jernigan a year before that. Here’s to hoping that Hargrave recovers fully and quickly. The good news is, he seems positive.

Derek Barnett’s absence is also notable for the same reason. This will be a make-or-break season for DB, with his fifth-year option on the horizon and 2020 was the first offseason he was entering fully healthy. Fingers crossed he returns soon.

Eagles Running back competition heats up

The Eagles came out of the offseason without a replacement for Jordan Howard. They placed all their chips on the UDFA group and underdogs remaining behind Miles Sanders and Boston Scott. It’s a limited sample size, but so far, so good!

The only back not named by a writer today was Michael Warren. This bodes very well for what’s already posing to be an intense competition for those RB3/4 spots.

Depth chart update

With Jason Peters down, Matt Pryor took first-team RG snaps in what is a really unique opportunity for the TCU product. There’s no guarantee that Peters starts given the bigger picture, so every first-team rep counts.

Outside of that, the only other notable name here is Greg Ward officially being the team’s starting slot receiver. With Marquise Goodwin siting the season out, this was to be expected. It’s still exciting to see Ward enter Camp with a starting role as opposed to fighting for one on the practice squad.

Reagor shines

There were plenty of eyes on the Eagles’ first-round pick in today’s practice and he didn’t disappoint.

You love to see that kind of work ethic from any player, but for a player with as much hype surrounding them as Reagor, it’s just that extra bit spicy. If he’s looking good in and out of breaks, that’s a very encouraging sign. It’ll be fun to keep an eye on how Aaron Moorehead spurs his development.

Cornerback depth

There was a lot of mystery concerning the Eagles cornerback position this offseason. We knew that Darius Slay would be CB1, but beyond that, nobody had a clue. Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones looked set to juke it out for the CB2 role, but it’s the Pitt product who has the upper-hand early.

Jones is the CB2 behind Maddox and Douglas behind Slay, which makes sense. Jones bares a similar size and style to Maddox, while Douglas has been working closely with the Eagles’ newest secondary star this offseason.

This year’s training camp hero?

Whether it’s Paul Turner, Aaron Grymes, or most recently Greg Ward Jr, there’s always one underdog who steals the show. Temple’s Shaun Bradley, a sixth-round draft pick of the Eagles, is making his case early.

If there’s one position the Eagles could really use a breakout star, it’s at linebacker. Bradley was a three-year starter at Temple and figures to fit straight into Dave Fipp’s special teams unit to make a mark.

While we’re talking linebackers though, don’t sleep on Alex Singleton, who will be looking to build on a solid first year holding down Fipp’s special teams unit and sneaking onto defense. The former CFL star has made an early impression in a group that’s now significantly lighter on both talent and depth.

The HHH connection

Hurts, Hightower, hysteria. As you can see from the breathaking tweet below, the pair of rookies lit up the NovaCare Complex on Monday.

Ah. Anyway, ESP and Mike Kaye both seemed to have better views of the touchdown.

Hurts hitting the ground running is key for the Eagles. The coaching staff were high on him during virtual OTA’s, but translating it onto turf was the next challenge. He’ll start as QB3 behind Sudfeld to begin with, but it may not take long for competition to heat up. As for Hightower, he already has my heart, so I expect nothing less.

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Photo by Frank Mattia/Icon Sportswire