Eagles Elevate USC Standout WR, Baylor ‘Hybrid’ to Active Roster

Deontay Burnett

Getty Eagles WR Deontay Burnett played in five games for the New York Jets in 2018.

The Eagles filled their two open roster spots with Deontay Burnett and Grayland Arnold on Saturday.

Teams are allowed to elevate two players from their practice squads ahead of Sunday’s game to get the roster to 55. Burnett provides depth at wide receiver with Jalen Reagor out and Alshon Jeffery still on the mend. He appeared in one contest in 2019 and made two catches for 48 yards, including a 41-yard bomb in Week 17 against the Giants. The 6-footer has 12 career NFL catches for 191 yards.

Burnett went undrafted out of USC despite a breakout performance in the 2017 Rose Bowl where he caught 13 passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns. He finished his college career with 152 receptions for 1,897 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Arnold gives the Eagles an insurance policy in the secondary as a hybrid safety-cornerback. The team is down cornerback Craig James (short-term IR) and safety Rudy Ford (groin), two key cogs on their special-teams unit. Arnold, the undrafted rookie out of Baylor, could see significant snaps as the gunner on returns.

He was named the Eagles’ best undrafted rookie free-agent signing by CBS Sports after training with the famed “Footwork King” in the offseason. Arnold finished his college career with 106 total tackles, seven interceptions and 13 passes defensed.

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Will Jalen Hurts Be Active Again This Week?

The question on everybody’s mind is whether Jalen Hurts will be the No. 2 quarterback this week. Some are even starting the chorus to put him in over starter Carson Wentz. On Friday, head coach Doug Pederson talked about where he’s at with Hurts and his spot on the depth chart. It’s going to be a week-to-week thing.

“We feel we have two really good backup quarterbacks. It’s a week-to-week decision, quite frankly, based on opponent, based on gameplan and things like that,” Pederson told reporters. “But the things we had in last week for him, he handled well and it’s a small drop in the bucket I think to probably getting his career off and running at some point.”

Pederson went out his way to say it’s “nothing against Nate Sudfeld” who was the backup quarterback in Week 1. Hurts saw three snaps against the Rams, all in a gadget-decoy type of role, and will likely get more as he gets more acclimated. His skill set demands it.

“He has a skill set that — that we saw in college, obviously, and just felt like it was an opportunity to maybe get him sort of coming just a little bit,” Pederson explained. “It’s nothing against Nate Sudfeld or any of that.”

Confidence Level Strong in Nate Herbig

The Eagles will move Nate Herbig from right guard to left guard because of his versatility. Matt Pryor will start at left guard due to his experience playing there in 2019, thanks to his comfort level lining up next to Lane Johnson. Pederson likes the way his offensive line has dealt with adversity so far this season, especially Herbig. His ability to jump in at multiple spots makes him indispensable.

“Nate’s been the guy that we have been able to use in a couple of spots, right,” Pederson said. “He can also play center if need be and so he’s the one that we feel more comfortable in right now being able to move him to the left side.”

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