Eagles Activate ‘Breakout’ Pass Rusher, Place ‘Strap’ CB on IR

Genard Avery

Getty Eagles DE Genard Avery recorded a sack in Week 9 versus the Bears and looks to be a key player moving forward.

The Eagles made a flurry of minor roster moves on Tuesday, highlighted by activating promising young pass rusher Genard Avery to the 21-day practice window. Avery was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 30 with an elbow injury, along with struggling linebacker Nate Gerry. The team will probably test Avery this week at practice before adding back onto the active roster.

Philadelphia also officially placed cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc on IR after an MRI revealed a high ankle sprain. “Strap” will miss at least three weeks and Will Parks will likely pick up LeBlanc’s extra snaps as the backup nickel corner.

The team released running back Adrian Killins again — the undrafted rookie has been being signed, waived/released and re-signed a whopping eight times. In addition, they protected four practice-squad players: RB Jordan Howard, DT T.Y. McGill, DE Joe Ostman, TE Caleb Wilson.

Avery, of course, is the biggest name to monitor on the above list. He had a “breakout game” in Week 4 versus San Francisco where he recorded five quarterback hits, including one that led to a game-changing Rodney McLeod interception. He had two sacks and six quarterback hits in six games before hitting IR.

“That was sort of the breakout game we’ve been waiting for from him,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said after the 49ers game. “He’s always been a skilled pass rusher. It’s just fitting him in with all the other stuff. I think he’s really done a good job of refining his technique and limiting his — sticking with what works best for him.”

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Howard Protected, Still Not Active

Doug Pederson preached patience last week when talking about the return of Howard. The one-time Pro Bowl running back picked up 525 yards on the ground last year in midnight green before leaving for Miami in free agency. While it’s true he knows the Eagles’ system, it takes time to get re-acclimated to the offense.

Howard can’t be claimed by a rival team since the Philly protected him. However, the 224-pounder still needs to be added to the active roster to play on Sunday. Pederson does like his running-by-back-committee approach and his other power options — Corey Clement, Elijah Holyfield — haven’t impressed this year.

“I mean, he’s obviously a talented player who has helped us win some games here, and we’re excited to get him back,” Pederson said of Howard. “It adds depth, adds a little value. A veteran player obviously in that room. We’ll see next week and see how he can just continue to help us. But yeah, we’re excited to get him back.”


LeBlanc Posts Motivational Twitter Message

LeBlanc has struggled to find snaps this year since the team signed Nickell Robey-Coleman in the offseason. It’s been a struggle for the nickel corner to make peace with his new role at times, especially after what everyone thought was a breakout 2018 campaign for Strap. It hasn’t worked out that way and LeBlanc even had to deal with unexpectedly getting cut coming out of training camp.

He’s been knocked down to a reserve role for much of 2020. Now this high ankle-sprain will slow his advance up the depth chart even more. LeBlanc, who lost his dad to a heart attack in high school, is one of the most positive souls on the roster. He is a firm believer in God and expressed faith in the process on Twitter.

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