The extra roster spot — the one casually dangled out for Antonio Brown — hasn’t been filled. The Eagles still have one open spot after activating the 21-day practice window for Cre’Von LeBlanc.
The cornerback had been on injured reserve since Sept. 2 with a foot injury, a Lisfranc sprain to be specific. By activating him off IR, the team now has 21 days to permanently add him to the 53-man roster or send him back to IR. That means the Eagles still have one open roster spot as the team has until Dec. 22 at 4 p.m. to decide on how to designate LeBlanc.
The 25-year-old is expected to be at practice on Wednesday and his presence should further strengthen an Eagles secondary that has had an impressive resurgence. According to Fran Duffy, the Eagles lead the entire NFL in allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete just 53.2 percent of their pass attempts in the month of November. The defense is giving up just 15.2 points per game during that span.
LeBlanc was earning rave reviews early in training camp and thought to be a big part of the Eagles’ defense before he went down. He made a name for himself last year after recording 32 tackles, one tackle for loss and five pass breakups in 351 snaps. He also had that miraculous interception on Drew Brees in the playoff game against the Saints.
“It doesn’t take long to be around that guy to know that he’s competitive and he’s tough,” Schwartz said last year about LeBlanc. “Competitiveness and toughness go a long way, and he brings both of those.”
LeBlanc Earned Reputation as Playmaker Last Year
Cre’Von LeBlanc, a former undrafted free agent, has already handled the ultimate pressure cooker when he picked off Drew Brees on the first snap in their divisional-round playoff matchup.
LeBlanc was signed with low expectations, claimed off waivers more out of necessity than out of need. He also showed great promise down the stretch and played 77 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps. According to Pro Football Focus, LeBlanc finished the season allowing just 1.02 yards per every snap in slot coverage while grading out as the website’s top-rated cornerback.
LeBlanc considers himself a religious man and never questioned his own ability, especially not in the face of adversity. It was a year ago that he was cut and waived by the Detroit Lions and only found a home in Philadelphia because then-assistant GM Joe Douglas believed in him.
“You can’t be down on yourself for too long in this league – things are going to happen,” LeBlanc told The Inquirer. “You’re going to get hurt, you’re going to get released. That’s just the business part of it. You’ve got to still hold your head high, still have faith in the man above. I would say he won’t bring you this far to leave you.”
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