Eagles Steal Ex-Alabama Player, Jalen Hurts’ Old Teammate

Ross Pierschbacher

Getty Former Alabama guard/center Ross Pierschbacher joined the Eagles practice squad.

The Philadelphia Eagles seem committed to making Jalen Hurts comfortable under center. The team poached reserve guard Ross Pierschbacher from the Washington Football Team’s practice squad on Monday for added depth along their injury-plagued offensive line.

Pierschbacher, a fifth-round pick (153rd overall) in 2019, appeared in five games for Washington and saw 12 special-teams snaps. He’s a versatile athlete who can play left guard, right guard or center while drawing favorable comparisons to Chicago Bears center Cody Whitehair.

He was teammates with Hurts at the University of Alabama where he won two national championships. The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder played 42 games at left guard during his first three years for the Crimson Tide before converting to center as a senior. His 57 career starts is a record for position players at the SEC school.

The 25-year-old protected Hurts upfront for the quarterback’s three-year stay at Alabama, including their 2017 championship run. Hurts bought Pierschbacher and the entire offensive line dinner, per Saturday Down South, but never revealed how much it cost. He borrowed an old Jason Kelce rallying cry to describe Hurts’ decision to transfer to Oklahoma, saying: “Hungry dogs run faster.”

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Doug Pederson Talks Backup Quarterbacks

Doug Pederson’s bizarre success rate with backup quarterbacks has been a hot-button issue in recent days. The Eagles head coach just seems to get the most of the position and has gone 11-2 with them. Why is that?

Maybe it’s because Pederson can identify better with the backup since he was a career number two himself. Or, perhaps it has something to do with dialing back the play-calls and simplifying the offense when the starter isn’t out there.

“I think as play-callers, as you put plans together, maybe you keep things a touch smaller,” Pederson told reporters on Monday. “You keep the verbiage down a little bit. Maybe you pull back or pull plays that you’ve used earlier in the season, time on task, all kinds of things play into that.”

Another factor may have to deal with the guy coming in. For starters, there isn’t a lot of film on him and then he probably wants to make a good first impression considering it could be his only audition for a starting job.

“He’s getting an opportunity to play,” Pederson said. “Tends to play well and you always see what’s going to happen the next time out, right? So, it’s hard to pinpoint, but I think you can kind of point a finger at a couple things.”


Eagles Update Injury Report

The Eagles incurred quite a few major injuries in Sunday’s game, including a major blow to the secondary with the loss of Rodney McLeod. Pederson updated the rest of the walking wounded in his day-after press conference.

Starting cornerback Darius Slay (head) is in the league’s concussion protocol, so he’s day-to-day until cleared with no symptoms. Fellow starter Avonte Maddox (knee) is going to “miss some time,” per Pederson, but the team didn’t put a timeline on the injury.

It sure sounds like Maddox is out this week which makes Jalen Mills the logical replacement unless undrafted rookie Michael Jacquet (hamstring) is healthy enough to return. Defensive end Josh Sweat is fine after getting “chipped by the running back” and hurting his right arm. He won’t miss any time.

“Josh Sweat is going to be okay,” said Pederson. “He’s going to be okay for the game.”

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