That “Final Roster” of the Eagles is never really final as the team adjusts on the fly to various injury situations and new names appearing on other teams’ waiver wires.
On Tuesday, the Eagles agreed to terms with rookie kicker Jake Elliott from the Bengals’ practice squad and placed kicker Caleb Sturgis on Injured Reserve with a designation for return to the active roster later in the season. The Bengals selected Elliott out of Memphis with one of their fifth-round picks after struggling to fix their kicking game in 2016.
If Sturgis is healthy, he would be eligible to practice after six weeks which is when the Eagles prepare to face San Francisco on October 29. He could then rejoin the active roster during the bye week for the final seven games of the regular season.
Until then the Eagles will play “Kicker Roulette.” They’re working out a bunch of other kickers besides Jake Elliott, including longtime kicker Mike Nugent who was released late last season by the Bengals after he missed six field goals and six PAT attempts.
The Eagles also made a pair of practice squad transactions Tuesday. Cornerback De’Vante Bausby and tackle Victor Salako were signed to the practice squad, while cornerback C.J. Smith and wide receiver Greg Ward were released.
The Eagles are also working out four free agent linebackers this week, too, including Carl Bradford (Packers 49ers, Bills), Trevon Johnson (Cardinals), Joseph Jones (Cowboys), and Antwione Williams (Lions).
So it is with some trepidation over the kicking game that we head out to Kansas City this weekend to play the Chieves.
We also get to see how our evolving defense with its strategic blitzing schemes will fare against that hot rookie all-purpose running back whom we sort of passed over in the 2017 Draft.
This kid looks like a natural blitz-breaker!
I’m talking about Kareem Hunt, who racked up 246 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns for the Kansas City Chiefs in a 42-27 win over the defending-champion New England Patriots. Coach Doug Pederson said recently Hunt was one of the backs the Eagles looked at during the pre-draft process.
“I liked him. I did,” he said. “I thought he had a good career there in college. [He was] one of the guys who was definitely someone we had our eye on.”
The Toledo product was selected by the Chiefs in the third round, 86th overall. The Eagles originally held the 74th overall slot but traded it to the Baltimore Ravens for starting defensive tackle Tim Jernigan.
Howie Roseman later traded up in the fourth to select Donnel Pumphrey, the undersized (5-foot-9, 176 pounds) but prolific running back out of San Diego State. Pumphrey struggled in the preseason and was on the roster bubble approaching cut-downs. Pumphrey was the lone inactive back in Week 1.
The Eagles were unable to establish the run in an opening-day win over the Washington Redskins, finishing with 58 yards on 24 carries (2.4 YPC). Quarterback Carson Wentz, meanwhile, threw the ball 39 times.
We’re gonna have to do a better job than that against the Chieves with our ground game, as the KC defense loves nothing more than to pin their ears back and get into the offensive backfield.
Here’s a link to an early scouting report on the Eagles-Chieves game from DOMO:
Jon Dorenbos surgery update: The open-heart surgery went well, according to Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who opened his Wednesday news conference by saying, “I would like to just send a shoutout to Jon Dorenbos. Everything went well yesterday with surgery and he’s resting comfortably. Just wish him and his family well, our prayers are with him and hope for a speedy recovery.”