Eagles Top WR Misses Practice, 5 Starters DNP

DeVonta Smith

Getty Eagles WR DeVonta Smith has 406 yards and a touchdown in seven games in 2021.

Rookie receiver DeVonta Smith missed practice on Wednesday, October 27 with a headache. The top target for the Philadelphia Eagles was one of seven players marked with the DNP designation ahead of Week 8. Good news, there is plenty of time to get everyone healthy before kickoff.

Running back Miles Sanders (ankle/foot) is likely to miss the matchup versus Detroit. He was carted off the field in Week 7 and the team is calling him week to week. Head coach Nick Sirianni didn’t want to rule Sanders out, but it seems like a stretch that he’ll play. Sanders could be out two to three weeks, according to Derrick Gunn.

“Miles will probably be down,” Sirianni said. “It’s a stretch for him to be up this week, but we’re not ruling anything out yet.”

Safety Anthony Harris was seen doing rehab work on a side field. He missed last week’s game with a hand injury, then showed up with an additional groin issue. The most concerning name on the practice report was defensive tackle Javon Hargrave (shoulder) who leads the club with six sacks. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox took his voluntary veteran rest day. Receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (back) and cornerback Zech McPhearson (hamstring) rounded out the walking wounded.

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Eagles in Seller’s Mode?

The decisions to jettison Zach Ertz and Joe Flacco have raised suspicions of the Eagles being sellers at the deadline. If that’s the case, there are several veteran spare parts they could unload.

Sirianni told reporters that he has input on personnel matters, adding he doesn’t have time to worry about building for the future. He has to coach the guys put in front of him every day at practice.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve our team and get better as a football team,” Sirianni said. “Looking at this, we got picks for the future. Make no mistake about it. We’re trying to win every single game. I don’t have time to, like me as the head coach, I don’t have time to be in a we’ll build for next year or whatever it is.”

Evaluating Gardner Minshew

Sirianni said he personally evaluated Gardner Minshew before the Eagles acquired him on August 28. The whole offensive coaching staff did, including quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, passing game coordinator Kevin Patullo. They sent their thoughts over to general manager Howie Roseman and the organization made the collective decision to make the trade.

“We talk through everything, regardless if it’s a trade or it’s acquiring a player like Gardner,” Sirianni said. “We talk through everything.”

The experience with Minshew dated back to Sirianni’s time in Indianapolis, too. The Colts assistant had pre-draft interactions with him in 2019 and then saw him twice a year when the Jacksonville Jaguars made the sixth-rounder their starting quarterback.

“We’d had personal experiences with Gardner,” Sirianni said. “Obviously coming out in the draft, we knew how smart he was coming out in the draft. We spent a lot of time with him there. Then obviously, playing in the same division as him.”

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