Quez Watkins was already have a sneaky good training camp, but he may have secured a spot on the 53-man roster after Sunday night. The second-year receiver made a leaping touchdown catch over Anthony Harris that went for 55 yards off a Jalen Hurts roll out.
Watkins, a sixth-round pick in 2020, has been enjoying a terrific camp as he pushes for the fifth receiver spot behind DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Greg Ward, Travis Fulgham. The 23-year-old is also a dual-threat on kick and punt returns.
Watkins battled injuries during his rookie campaign and finished with seven receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown. The Southern Miss product often jokes that he is the fastest guy on the team – his 4.35 seconds in the 40 was the second-best for a wideout at the 2020 NFL Combine – and continues to back it up in practices.
The Alabama native told reporters he felt more confident coming into camp this year compared to 2020. He spent time working out with Hurts in the offseason while tightening up his “strength, route running and just being consistent.” It’s still early to make any bold predictions, but the hard work appears to be paying off.
“I feel a lot better than I did last year,” Watkins said. “Being able to run any type of route, any kind of concept, and just being explosive. Last year I kind of got my feet wet a little bit over the last couple of games, so I knew what to expect coming in this year. It gave me an upper hand, I guess you could say.”
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Brandon Brooks Returns to Practice
Starting right guard Brandon Brooks suited up for the first time this summer as he deals with a nagging hamstring injury. He was a limited participant at the Eagles’ open practice under the lights at Lincoln Financial Field, but it sure was fun to see the 335-pounder back on the field.
Brooks expects to be ready for Week 1, but he’ll probably sit out for preseason games out of extreme caution. Remember, the soon-to-be 32-year-old (birthday is Aug. 19) is coming off a torn Achilles tendon from June 2020 and missed last season.
The Eagles listed 13 total players on Sunday’s injury report, most notably John Hightower (groin) and DeVonta Smith (knee). Both receivers – along with linebackers JaCoby Stevens (hamstring) and Davion Taylor (calf) – remain week-to-week. One new addition was offensive tackle Casey Tucker (biceps).
Eagles Welcome 25,896 Fans Back
The Eagles’ open practice drew 25,896 fans to Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. That means the franchise raised approximately $258,960 for the Eagles Autism Foundation. The money goes toward funding cutting-edge research and advocacy for autism. The Philadelphia Eagles have raised $10 million since 2018.
“This past year reminded us how precious life is and how important the work of the Eagles Autism Foundation is toward bettering the lives of others,” Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. “We are especially proud to fund this year’s research projects and community grants, which have demonstrated to us the potential to transform the field of autism for families today and for those in the future.”