The Eagles have had two weeks of training camp and a preseason game to get an idea as to what the 53-man roster will look like.
Already, we have started to see some surprises like cornerback Josh Jobe, wide receiver Britain Covey and tight end Noah Togiai make bids for roster spots.
But there’s still time until Aug. 30, when the roster has to be trimmed to 53. The first roster cut comes Tuesday, when teams have to go from 90 to 85, then down to 80 on Aug. 23. The Eagles already made two cuts, releasing OL William Dunkle and LB Ali Fayad on Sunday.
Before the 53-man roster prediction, here is a quick update from Sunday’s practice:
∎ We saw the first skirmish of training camp when linebacker Patrick Johnson threw a series of punches at left tackle Andre Dillard. Johnson bull-rushed Dillard, who took exception and pushed him away. Johnson then started throwing punches and Dillard’s helmet came off. It was quickly broken up by teammates. But Dillard went inside the locker room with a trainer. It’s not known if he was injured.
Neither Dillard nor Johnson were made available to comment. Fellow linebacker Davion Taylor said he didn’t see the fight develop because he was going for an interception.
“One thing that coach emphasized at practice was making sure that we don’t take that aggression out on each other,” Taylor said. “So we’re going to taking that aggression out on the field, and not just throwing hands with our teammates.”
∎ Wide receiver DeVonta Smith returned to practice after missing the previous 10 days with a groin injury. He made the play of the day when he leaped over both Zech McPhearson and Avonte Maddox to snare Jalen Hurts’ pass. The two defenders then fell to the ground and looked at each other in disbelief as Smith continued down the sideline.
“It was just go make a play, that’s what it was,” Smith said. “Those guys, they came out and they played a double team. They were in their right spots, but it came down to just making a play.”
∎ RB Miles Sanders didn’t practice because of leg soreness. He had 2 catches for 20 yards in the preseason opener against the Jets on Friday night. In addition to Smith, RB Kenny Gainwell (hip) and S Jaquiski Tartt (personal) returned to practice.
In: Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew
Out: Reid Sinnett, Carson Strong
Comment: It’s hard to see the Eagles keeping three quarterbacks because Sinnett and Strong haven’t shown enough to warrant a spot. One of the quarterbacks should make it to the practice squad. But if anything happens to Hurts or Minshew, the Eagles will probably have to look elsewhere for a QB anyway.
Running back (4)
In: Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell, Jason Huntley
Out: Kennedy Brooks, DeAndre Torrey
Comment: The Eagles came into camp with only five RBs before adding Torrey last week, mainly because Scott (concussion) and Gainwell (hip) couldn’t play, and Sanders only played the first series. Huntley provides more on special teams, which can be a deciding factor for roster spots.
Tight end (4)
In: Dallas Goedert, Grant Calcaterra, Jack Stoll, Noah Togiai
Out: Tyree Jackson, Richard Rodgers, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
Comment: Togiai gets the last spot after a good performance against the Jets. Arcega-Whiteside, the former second-round pick, has made himself into a good special teams player. But he dropped a pass against the Jets, and it’s probably time to cut the cord. Jackson is still on the PUP list as he recovers from a torn ACL.
Wide receiver (5)
In: A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor
Out: Greg Ward, Deon Cain, Devon Allen, Britain Covey, John Hightower
Comment: Covey might have an inside track to that sixth spot, but it’s hard to see the Eagles keeping six. None of the other receivers have done enough to warrant a roster spot. Ward has been a good player, but Pascal is better. Allen, the Olympic hurdler, will end up on the practice squad.
Offensive line (9)
In: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Sua Opeta, Cam Jurgens, Jack Driscoll
Out: Brett Toth, Le’Raven Clark, Kayode Awosika, Jack Anderson, Cameron Tom
Comment: This is assuming that Kelce, who had elbow surgery last week, will be ready either in Week 1 or shortly thereafter. The Eagles are strong and deep at left tackle with Mailata and Dillard, the former first-round pick. If Johnson were to get hurt, the Eagles are better off with Mailata playing right tackle and Dillard at left, as opposed to keeping Clark. If Kelce is out longer, look for Tom to stay as Jurgens’ backup.
Defensive line (9)
In: Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Josh Sweat, Derek Barnett, Jordan Davis, Milton Williams, Tarron Jackson, Marlon Tuipulotu
Out: Kobe Smith, Marvin Wilson, Matt Leo, Renell Wrenn
Comment: Tuipulotu has been one of the pleasant surprises at camp, so the Eagles’ sixth-round pick in 2021 will get a roster spot over Wrenn, who was the Bengals’ fourth-round pick in 2019. Smith and Wilson have had good camps, but Tuipulotu has been better.
In: Haason Reddick, Kyzir White, T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor, Nakobe Dean, Shaun Bradley, Kyron Johnson, Patrick Johnson
Out: JaCoby Stevens, Christian Elliss
Comment: Under the system of defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, Reddick and both of the Johnsons serve as pass-rushers in a 5-man front. Patrick Johnson, the fifth-rounder in 2021, has had a good camp, and Kyron Johnson is establishing himself on special teams. Bradley is also strong on special teams. Taylor has played well, as have Edwards and White. Dean could become a starter at some point during the season.
In: Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson, Josh Jobe
Out: Tay Gowan, Kary Vincent, Mario Goodrich, Mac McCain, Josiah Scott
Comment: The Eagles have several young players vying for backup spots behind Slay, Bradberry and Maddox. McPhearson should get one of the spots. Jobe, the undrafted free agent out of Alabama, has been the best of the rest. He had five tackles against the Jets and was strong in coverage. McCain has been solid, too.
In: Marcus Epps, Anthony Harris, Andre Chachere, K’Von Wallace
Out: Jaquiski Tartt, Reed Blankenship, Jared Mayden
Comment: Tartt, signed as a free agent after he was a full-time starter with the 49ers, was running with the third team before leaving last week for personal reasons. Chachere has shown that he can play the position in addition to being one of the top special teams players.
In: Jake Elliott, Arryn Siposs, Rick Lovato
Comment: The Eagles haven’t brought in punting competition for Siposs, who struggled late last season. That can always change. Elliott, coming off his best season, is secure, and so is Lovato as the long snapper.
Contact Martin Frank at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.