The Philadelphia Eagles clashed with the New York Jets in their second and final joint practice ahead of Friday night’s preseason matchup. Here is all you need to know:
The good news is that once again, there weren’t many new injury updates. Genard Avery’s groin injury is a new one, but he’s day-to-day and has all but secured a roster spot by this point.
Andre Dillard did partake in 1-on-1’s today…but reportedly got beaten by a UDFA…so that’s fun.
The big notable here is that Derek Barnett was still out of action. He’s day-to-day with an apparent shoulder injury, but it can’t be a coincidence that the Jets have lost both Carl Lawson and Vinny Curry over the past week and are very much in the market for a starting-level edge-rusher, of which the Eagles do have a couple that they may be willing to part ways with if the price is right. It’s anything but a certainty, but definitely something worth watching.
Young and hungry
If there is one positional group that has consistently stolen the spotlight this season, it’s wide receiver. That didn’t change today.
While Quez Watkins hauled in multiple TD’s, DeVonta Smith drew praise form Jets beat writers thanks to his sharp route-running which has been flashed on numerous occasions. There’s a lot of promise within that WR room and the young group has done nothing but raise the bar and impress throughout the summer. They should be very exciting to watch this year.
Slay shows up at the right time
His dancing might have caught the most attention, but his play should have as well. It’s been a tame summer for the team’s top cornerback, who caught fire at just the right time.
I highly doubt we see much of Darius Slay or any of the starters on Friday evening, so getting one last strong body of work in a joint practice was optimal for the former pro bowler.
Steven Nelson hasn’t exactly looked brilliant so far by all accounts, although he’s wasted little time in giving back by donating helmets to 150 players of the Warner Robins Raiders travel football program from his hometown.
I’d personally like to see Nelson take some snaps this week, as he missed so much of the offseason trying to hold out for a bigger paycheck. He’s a solid corner but making sure he’s up to speed for week one’s showdown with Atlanta has to be a priority.
As much as the wideouts have been the stars of the show, the tight ends have consistently been a strong part of the offensive act in this training camp musical. Hurts leaned on his security blankets early and often on Wednesday.
I’m intrigued to see how the tight ends are used this season, given that they typically don’t see too many passes thrown their way in previous Nick Sirianni offenses. But this is his first season as Head Coach and he’s made an emphasis of molding his offense around his players, so maybe this will be a sharp contrast.
Gainwell gains well
I’ve tried hard to avoid making that pun all offseason. The rookie running back has looked solid in preseason play and continued that trend into the joint practices.
I think it’s safe to say that he’s established himself as a solid RB2 option and the lead pass-catching option out of the backfield. Miles Sanders showed signs of life today from a receiving perspective, catching a short red-zone TD, but it’s been a summer of struggle from the third-year running back. Having Gainwell to his side to alleviate the pressure will go a long way.
Defense wins the day
Sure, the Eagles might be 0-2 in preseason play where they’ve rested starters, but they appear to have really made the most of joint practice settings, coming out as the better team in all four settings, which has to be a testament to Nick Sirianni.
As far as the roster bubble goes, players will have one final shot to prove their worth then the Eagles and Jets clash on Friday night.
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire