Zangaro's pre-training camp Eagles 53-man roster projection

Zangaro's pre-training camp Eagles 53-man roster projection

As training camp draws near, it won't be long before the 2017 Eagles take the field for the opener on Sept. 10 in Washington. 

We just don't know what the team will look like yet. 

Over the next few weeks, the team will begin to crystallize leading up to when the roster must be cut down to 53 players. 

Thanks to the owners passing a resolution that eliminated the first cut, there's just one cut from 90 players to 53 this year. There used to be a cut down from 90 to 75 first, which never made any sense because those extra bodies are pretty handy for that last preseason game. 

Anyway, here's a first crack at what we think the Eagles' 53-man roster will look like this season:

QBs (2): Carson Wentz, Nick Foles
The Eagles still have Matt McGloin as their third-string quarterback, but will they value him enough to use a roster spot on him? Maybe. But I have him gone. Last year, the Eagles were prepared to carry three quarterbacks before the Sam Bradford trade, but keeping three in that situation is much different than keeping three this year. 

Maybe if Dane Evans from Tulsa performs well enough this training camp and preseason, he can be stashed on the practice squad as a developmental quarterback. That might be more palatable than keeping a third QB on the 53. 

RBs (4): LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, Donnel Pumphrey
Corey Clement and Byron Marshall are the odd men out. For a while, it seemed like Clement would have a decent shot to make the team as an undrafted free agent. After all, at 230 pounds, he was the big back the Eagles were missing. Then they went out and signed Blount. 

TEs (3): Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Trey Burton
This group seems pretty well cemented. Billy Brown and Anthony Denham don't have great odds to supplant one of these guys. 

WRs (5): Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Jordan Matthews, Mack Hollins, Nelson Agholor
The Eagles made this even easier when they released Dorial Green-Beckham this offseason, although it seemed unlikely DGB had a real chance. The biggest omission on this list is Gibson, a fifth-round pick. While Gibson finished his spring strong, it wasn't a good showing before that. He has a little bit of an uphill battle to make the team. 

OL (10): Jason Peters, Isaac Seumalo, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Stefen Wisniewski, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Chance Warmack, Dillon Gordon
I left Josh Andrews off this list, but then again, I left him off my list last year and he somehow made the team again. This time, I left him off because the Eagles have pretty good depth without him. Taylor Hart doesn't make the cut after switching from defensive tackle. 

DE (5): Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Chris Long, Derek Barnett, Steven Means
Marcus Smith and Alex McCalister are the two most noteworthy names left off the list. It seems like Smith's time with the Eagles might be coming to a close; and he was close to getting beaten out for a job by Means last summer. And McCalister has put on some weight but still just doesn't look the part. He'll really need to flash to make the squad. 

DT (5): Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan, Beau Allen, Destiny Vaeao, Elijah Qualls
There's a chance Allen won't be ready for Week 1, in which case, he would be a candidate for the NFI. But for now, we'll leave him on the roster. 

LB (5): Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendricks, Joe Walker, Nate Gerry
Gerry might not end up making the team, but I saw enough from him in the spring to think he has a chance as he transitions from college safety to NFL linebacker. Joe Walker is another question mark, but the team really liked him before he went down with an ACL injury last year. Najee Goode and Kamu Grugier-Hill are the odd men out right now; both are very good special teams players. 

CB (6): Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson, Rasul Douglas, Ron Brooks, Aaron Grymes, C.J. Smith
Sidney Jones will likely start the season on the PUP list. Ron Brooks is still recovering from a significant leg injury, so he's worth watching in camp. Aaron Grymes and C.J. Smith snag the last two spots. 

S (5): Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Jaylen Watkins, Terrence Brooks, Chris Maragos
The depth here isn't great. Watkins vs. Brooks for the third safety job might be a worthwhile competition to watch during camp.

Specialists (3) LS: Jon Dorenbos; P: Donnie Jones; K: Caleb Sturgis
No surprises. 

Best of NFL: Cowboys offense sputters again in loss to Chargers

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Best of NFL: Cowboys offense sputters again in loss to Chargers

ARLINGTON, Texas — Philip Rivers threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns in his first Thanksgiving game in his 14th season and the Los Angeles Chargers beat the fading Dallas Cowboys 28-6 on Thursday.

Desmond King returned an interception 90 yards for the punctuating touchdown as the Chargers (5-6) moved within 1 1/2 games of AFC West-leading Kansas City after starting 0-4 while the Chiefs won their first five.

The defending NFC East champion Cowboys (5-6) lost their third straight by at least 20 points, all without star running back Ezekiel Elliott, in a damaging defeat for their fading playoff hopes.

Dallas, playing its 50th Thanksgiving game, finally ended a touchdown drought at a team-record 10 quarters on Rod Smith's 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

Keenan Allen had a career-high 172 yards on 11 catches with a touchdown, giving him 23 grabs for 331 yards and three scores in the past two games (see full recap).

Vikings beat Lions, stay on Eagles' heels
DETROIT — Case Keenum threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score all in the first half to give the Minnesota Vikings a double-digit lead and they went on to beat the Detroit Lions 30-23 Thursday.

The Vikings (9-2) took a huge step toward winning the NFC North, taking a three-game lead over the second-place Lions.

Detroit (6-5) made mistakes in every phase of the game and Minnesota took advantage.

Keenum was 21 of 30 for 282 yards with both TD passes to Kyle Rudolph that gave the Vikings a 20-3 lead late in the second quarter.

The Lions rallied to pull within four points early in the fourth quarter on Matthew Stafford's second TD pass to Marvin Jones.

Xavier Rhodes ended Detroit's comeback hopes with an interception at the Detroit 37 late in the game (see full recap). 

Redskins beat Giants in turkey of a Thanksgiving game
LANDOVER, Md. — Kirk Cousins threw two touchdown passes to compensate for a pick-6, and the Washington Redskins beat the New York Giants 20-10 on Thursday night on a drab field in a drab game between two injury-depleted teams that did not look ready for prime time.

The first half, in particular, was devoid of highlights: The NFC East rivals combined for nine punts and only six points.

But Cousins led Washington (5-6) on two TD drives in the second half, connecting with Jamison Crowder on a 15-yarder in the third quarter that broke a 3-all tie, and with Josh Doctson on a 14-yarder with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the game.

In between, cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted Cousins' pass and returned the ball 53 yards to make it 10-all.

In the second half, the Giants (2-9) had one possession end with an interception by Eli Manning, four end with punts and another when they turned the ball over on downs (see full recap). 

Eagles injury report: Jake Elliott still in concussion protocol

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Eagles injury report: Jake Elliott still in concussion protocol

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott is still in the NFL’s concussion protocol but it looks likely that he’ll be able to play on Sunday.

Elliott was a full participant in Thursday’s practice after being a limited participant on Wednesday. In Phase 4 of the concussion protocol, players are allowed to participate in non-contact drills.

Elliott suffered a concussion in the first half of Sunday’s game in Dallas and the team played the second half without a kicker. If Elliott can’t play against the Bears the Eagles will either bring back Caleb Sturgis from IR or sign an outside kicker.

While Elliott was able to practice  on Thursday, Beau Allen (knee) and Trey Burton (back) did not practice. Allen has missed practice Wednesday and Thursday.

Rodney McLeod (oblique) was a full participant on Thursday.