It’s Dallas Week in Philadelphia — and reinforcements are coming on both sides of the football. The Eagles activated four impact players to the 21-day practice window on Monday including three starters: WR Jalen Reagor, LT Jason Peters, LB T.J. Edwards. The team also will be getting a huge special-team boost with the possible return of safety Rudy Ford. Things are looking up.
There has been much debate on what to do about a healthy Peters in recent weeks. Some have pondered keeping Jordan Mailata at left tackle and Doug Pederson even openly hinted at doing that while moving The Bodyguard over to right guard. Nate Herbig has played well at both guard spots (left, right), but Sua Opeta struggled last week in his debut. Peters could solidify a weak spot on the offensive line.
“I think when J.P. comes back, I think that’s a conversation we’ll have internally to see what’s best for the football team, whether it’s he and Herbig and Sua Opeta now, guard rotation, or is it J.P. back at left tackle,” Pederson told reporters on Oct. 23. “Those are options we have, which we haven’t had many options lately. It gives us I think the best availability for these players for our offensive line moving forward.”
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) October 26, 2020
All four players are eligible to begin practicing today in Philly. The clock starts as soon as the team activates them.
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Reagor ‘Catching Footballs’ Ahead of Schedule
Reagor’s activation isn’t a surprise after a report surfaced that the 21st overall pick was “catching footballs” and appeared ahead of schedule. He even posted a message on Twitter saying: “Laying low, sticking to the mission.” He has been on injured reserve since Sept. 30 with a torn ligament in his thumb.
Laying low, sticking to the mission. pic.twitter.com/giAiwNrYWc
— Reag (@jalenreagor) October 25, 2020
The fleet-footed playmaker would provide the Eagles with a serious speed threat now that DeSean Jackson is out for six to eight weeks. Reagor has five catches for 96 yards in two games this season in an injury-plagued rookie year that saw him battle back from a torn labrum in training camp. Reagor aggressively rehabbed back from that ailment and pledged to do the same following thumb surgery.
“I’ve been working with him hard, making him one of the best young receivers in this league,” cornerback Darius Slay said on Sept. 25. “And I know when he comes back he’s going to play hard. He got that in his mind, been motivating himself that whenever he’s back he’s going to be ready to go, so looking forward to him getting back out there and compete.”
Eagles Muddled LB Situation Needs Edwards
Edwards, who hit IR on Oct. 8 with a hamstring injury, was finally starting to come into his own as a starting linebacker for the Eagles. No small feat for a group devoid of big-time playmakers. Nate Gerry has been under intense scrutiny, with Duke Riley missing two weeks due to a rib injury. Alex Singleton has been seeing an uptick in snaps, along with rookies Shaun Bradley and Davion Taylor.
— T.J. Edwards (@TJEdwards8) April 29, 2019
But Edwards’ return should boost morale in the middle of the defense. He has 15 tackles (two for loss) and one forced fumble in four games while serving as a key special-teams player. The former undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin has also been taking on a bigger leadership role.
“We’ve had a lot of different players at a lot of different positions take leadership and take roles,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said of the linebackers group. “I think that if you asked the guys on the defense, I think we’re getting good leadership out of that position.”
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