Eagles Add Super Athletic Tight End to Practice Squad

Jordan Franks

Getty Former Bengals tight end Jordan Franks is reportedly joining the Eagles practice squad.

The Eagles are adding a tight end to their practice squad, a likely corresponding move for putting Vinny Curry on IR.

Philadelphia is signing former undrafted free agent Jordan Franks, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The 24-year-old was sitting out there on the open market after the Bengals waived him on Sept. 5. He’ll join fellow tight end Caleb Wilson on the Eagles’ practice squad, along with fellow Central Florida alum Adrian Killins.

Franks saw action in nine games for Cincinnati in 2018, including making a 32-yard first-down catch from Andy Dalton. He has two receptions for 37 yards on three career targets. It’s widely assumed that Joe Ostman will get called up from the practice squad to replace Curry.

Head coach Doug Pederson revealed on Monday that Curry was dealing with a “significant” injury sustained against Washington in Week 1. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Curry has a hamstring issue and will miss four weeks.

The Eagles are now dealing with three concerning injuries at defensive end. In addition to Curry, Brandon Graham is in the concussion protocol and Derek Barnett has his own nagging hamstring injury. That leaves a fully healthy pass-rushing rotation of only Genard Avery, Josh Sweat and Casey Toohill.

“In general, you guys know that rotation is very important to us from a year-long effort to keep guys fresh and an in-game effort to keep guys fresh,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said of his pass-rushing rotation last week. “I haven’t thrown a baseball analogy out, but you know my baseball analogy there. It’s easier to come in and throw 100 miles an hour if you’re only pitching for an inning or two, and we expect that from our guys.”

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Franks Played WR, LB, S Before Moving to TE

The Eagles certainly love having athletic tight ends on the roster and Franks fits that bill. He was initially recruited as a wide receiver at UCF and spent time at linebacker and safety before eventually moving to tight end.

The 6-foot-3, 236-pounder hauled in 43 catches for 509 yards and two touchdowns in 27 games for the Knights. Franks recorded 4.61 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 31.5-inch vertical jump at his pro day. He went undrafted out of college but scouts praised him for his athleticism and how he attacked special teams.

Franks also had five kickoff returns for 125 yards as a sophomore while bouncing around at linebacker, safety and receiver. His brother, Feleipe, was a dual-threat quarterback at Florida before transferring to Arkansas.

“The good thing about Jordan Franks and every coach in this building has said this about him, you walk in this door, he might beat you in here,” Bengals tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes said of Franks in 2018. “That’s how early he is. I’m serious. I mean he’s here and that’s all he knows. He works hard.”

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