The team announced via the social media platform X that it has signed veteran linebacker Nicholas Morrow and offensive lineman Tyre Phillips to the practice squad. In order to make room on the 16-player practice squad, Philadelphia released cornerback Tiawan Mullen and linebacker Kyron Johnson.
The Eagles just brought in Mullen, a 2022 undrafted free agent out of Indiana, on August 31, so his time with the team was brief. Johnson was a sixth-round pick out of Kansas for Philly in 2022. As a rookie last year, he appeared in 16 games, playing primarily on special teams.
By adding both Phillips and Morrow, the Eagles have replaced two more unexperienced players with two who have 67 career starts between them.
Morrow Is Good Depth at LB for Eagles
Morrow started all 17 games for the Chicago Bears last season and he signed a one-year, $1.15 million deal with the Eagles during the offseason, only to be one of the team’s final roster cuts. It’s quite possible Philadelphia could activate him to the 53-man roster ahead of the Patriots game.
Morrow’s versatility and experience making him a solid depth signing. He has the flexibility to play both “SAM” and “MIKE” linebacker, and he led the Bears defense in tackles last season with 117, also adding an interception.
“One, I like to get to the ball,” Morrow said in March when asked what he’ll bring to the team, via Bleeding Green Nation. “So, I’m competing to get to the ball every play, that’s the biggest thing, and then obviously, whatever my assignment is, I want to be assignment sound. But the biggest thing is just competing snap to snap.”
Another versatile addition on the offensive side, we broke down the addition of Phillips here.
A Look at Eagles’ LB Situation Heading Into Week 1
As expected (and barring an unforeseen injury in practice this week), Haason Reddick will be the starter at “SAM,” while second-year standout Nakobe Dean will be in the middle at “MIKE,” where he will call plays for the defense. Six-year vet Zach Cunningham will likely cover the weak side, although second-year Christian Elliss could also see snaps at WLB.
Dean in particular will have more responsibilities this year, and how well he handles them will be be huge for the Eagles defense. “When you’re out there, you’re going full speed, you’re going to be tired,” Dean said, per Sports Illustrated. “You’ve got to make a play call.” He’s correct — and making the right reads will be crucial to his success. It was something he excelled at during his time at Georgia:
Dean appeared in all 17 games last year, but he played just 3% of the team’s defensive snaps (75% of his snaps were on special teams).
“Of course, it feels different, but it doesn’t feel too much different because I went into last year the same way – attacking it, attacking the first game and I’m going to attack it this year,” Dean explained. “I’m taking a step up and every year after that, too.”