There are still the usual dings and bruises from the first week of team activities, but here comes Phase II of training camp…
WR DeVonta Smith (MCL knee sprain) was listed as “week-to-week” by the Eagles after it was confirmed that he had a bruised knee. Smith suffered the injury during Saturday’s evening practice. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the injury is an MCL sprain and that the ailment will keep Smith sidelined for 2-3 weeks. That timeline means that Smith might miss the preseason but won’t miss a regular-season game. Of course, we know how week-to-week timelines can mysteriously linger based on how the Eagles have reported injuries in the past.
Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan was the notable in-practice injury on Monday. Kerrigan left an early team drill with a trainer and was flexing his right hand as walked into the NovaCare Complex. Kerrigan did not return to drills.
In positive news, linebacker Davion Taylor (quad) and cornerback Shakial Taylor (lower body) returned to practice. Davion Taylor missed Saturday’s workout, while Shakial Taylor missed all of last week.
RG Brandon Brooks (hamstring), CB Nate Meadors (hamstring) and LG Isaac Seumalo (hamstring) remained sidelined, while TE Jason Croom (knee) was added to the injury list. The Eagles are listing Brooks and Croom as day-to-day, while Meadors and Seumalo continue to be week-to-week.
Now we’ll see how guys like LT frontrunner Jordan Mailata look against full-pads aggression. So far the defensive linemen have been somewhat having their way in practice. DE Derek Barnett is healthy during training camp. He’s making the most of being injury-free, as he’s been lights out during camp thus far. Following a day off, Barnett was relentless in practice during 1-on-1 sessions and team drills. Josh Sweat, Barnett’s main competition, continued his big start to camp with a win in a 1-on-1 matchup against Andre Dillard. Brandon Graham has been lighting it up as well. It’s time to take off the kid gloves against Mailata now, who seemingly has the advantage in beating out Dillard for the starting LT job. Mailata did a nice job in 1-on-1 drills, as he was the only lineman to handle Barnett’s combination of technique and power. Mailata looks comfortable and confident on the blindside to this point. DT Fletcher Cox schooled LG Nate Herbig in an early 1-on-1 matchup. Herbig later came back and handled DT Hassan Ridgeway just fine. DE Joe Ostman had an excellent 1-on-1 rep against OT Brett Toth. Ostman used his speed and quickness to get around Toth for the “win.”
With Smith out for now, it means wide receivers will get extra reps. Quez Watkins had a really nice practice. Along with a deep shot from Jalen Hurts in 7-on-7 drills, Watkins showed off his quickness and vision on a screen pass during 11-on-11 drills. The play took place in the red zone and Watkins gained roughly 15 yards and a touchdown on the screen.
Hurts had a strong day as well, especially outside of the pocket (more on that in Chris Franklin’s QB breakdown).
Former Detroit running backs Kerryon Johnson and Jason Huntley had individual highlights upon their return to practice. Johnson took a pitch to the right and picked up a cool 25 yards on the ground before being touched in 11-on-11 drills. Huntley broke free after a single cut for an impressive gain against the depth groups.
Second-string QB Joe Flacco hit TE-hopeful Tyree Jackson over the middle for a nice YAC gain in 11-on-11. He then hit him again toward the corner on the same series. Jackson later caught a pass across the middle from Nick Mullens.
We will see how full-pads contact affects the success rate of some early shining stars. There will be no tackling to the ground, of course, but otherwise things are about to get real.