Eagles Start Making Roster Cuts: Former 2nd-Round Pick ‘Gone’

John Hightower, JJ Arcega-Whiteside

Getty Eagles receivers John Hightower and JJ Arcega-Whiteside celebrate a play versus the Jets in a preseason game.

Tight end J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was surprisingly missing from practice on August 14. The Philadelphia Eagles listed his absence as on the injury report “not injury related.” Immediately, the rumors started flying about his future with the team.

The first roster cutdown date is August 16, from 90 players to 85. Did the Eagles decide to get a jump start? Several reports are saying they did. Crossing Broad’s Kevin Kinkead said Arcega-Whiteside is “gone.” The Philly Pod’s Victor Williams was working to confirm that JJAW’s “time is up in Philadelphia.”

The Eagles haven’t confirmed the Arcega-Whiteside reports. The team did announce that tackle/guard William Dunkle and linebacker Ali Fayad had been released. The roster officially stands at 88 players.

Arcega-Whiteside had been considered a long shot to make the final roster. The 25-year-old was trying to crack the 53 as a tight end after bulking up in the offseason. The former standout wide receiver at Stanford was the 57th overall pick in 2019. He has 16 career receptions for 290 yards and a touchdown in 40 games.

Meanwhile, the converted receiver saw only eight total snaps in the preseason opener. And Arcega-Whiteside dropped his lone target against the New York Jets. The writing was on the wall throughout training camp as he attempted to transition from the only position he had known.

“It’s going pretty well,” Arcega-Whiteside told reporters, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. “The more reps the better. Just trying to get better every day, and there’s going to be a day where everything comes second nature. It’s not easy when you’ve played a position for 10 years, 12 years. I’ve played receiver since I was a kid.”

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Britain Covey Dealing with Thumb Sprain

Britain Covey has been turning heads at camp as a 5-foot-8, 173-pound sparkplug with good hands and fast wheels. He’s shown to be a reliable target in the slot (Julian Edelman vibes) and a speedy option on punt returns. Covey is stating a case to snake a roster spot at receiver.

Now he’s hurt. The Utah product was limited at Sunday’s practice due to a thumb sprain. Covey picked up the injury during Friday’s preseason loss. He is considered day to day, according to head coach Nick Sirianni.

“He’s limited today. He can do a lot of things — like, he’s a good punt returner. He can play in the slot or sometimes he can play outside,” Sirianni told reporters. “But he has a sprain. He said torn ligaments and that’s not what it is.”

Eagles Missing 10 Players at Practice

The Eagles were down 10 players at Sunday’s practice, including Miles Sanders. The starting running back was dealing with some leg soreness (via The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane). It doesn’t appear to be serious, although he was wearing a sleeve on his right leg.  Kenny Gainwell (hip) and DeVonta Smith (groin) both returned to the field.

One other interesting tidbit: Andre Dillard left practice early after instigating two fights. Dillard and Derek Barnett wrestled each other to the ground on one competitive rep, then he got into a tiff with Patrick Johnson who ripped Dillard’s helmet off. The Eagles sent him to the showers out of precaution. Remember, Dillard had just returned from the concussion protocol.

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