Bryce Treggs

Eagles bring in former Redskins QB Nate Sudfeld as part of practice squad

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Eagles bring in former Redskins QB Nate Sudfeld as part of practice squad

After the Eagles cut their roster down to 53 players Saturday, Howie Roseman and his staff officially brought back many of the cuts to the practice squad, which was announced Sunday afternoon.

Center Josh Andrews, tight end Billy Brown, linebacker Nate Gerry, offensive tackle Dillon Gordon, defensive tackle Justin Hamilton, running back Byron Marshall, cornerback C.J. Smith, quarterback Nate Sudfeld, wide receiver Bryce Treggs and wide receiver Greg Ward were all agreed to terms to join the Birds' practice squad.

Nine of the 10 players were with the Eagles throughout training camp. The only one who wasn't is Sudfeld, a sixth-round pick out of Indiana by the Redskins in 2016. He was released by Washington on Saturday afternoon.

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Sudfeld is now the third QB with the Eagles behind Carson Wentz and Nick Foles. Both Matt McGloin and Dane Evans were released in the days following the Eagles' preseason finale against the Jets last Thursday.

Prior to spending last year on Washington's practice squad, Sudfeld was a star for the Hoosiers during his four seasons in Bloomington. He racked up 593 completions, 7879 yards and 61 TDs compared to just 20 interceptions. His senior year in 2015 was his best as he completed 247 balls for 3,573 yards and 27 TDs. He led the Big Ten that year in passing yards, TD passes and total yards (3,634).

The Eagles and Redskins meet a week from Sunday in Washington for the season opener.

Andrews is back after spending the last two seasons on the Eagles' roster, but he is recovering from a broken hand.

Gerry was a fifth-round pick out of Nebraska this past draft. A natural safety, the Eagles transitioned him to linebacker during camp. Roseman said Saturday that Gerry was a victim of the numbers game and depth at the position more than anything else (see story).

Marshall played the last three games of the season with the Eagles, recording 64 yards on the ground on 19 carries.

The speedy Treggs played in nine games for the Eagles last season, including one start. He posted three catches for 80 yards, including one reception for 58 yards

Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Frank Reich praises WR group, competition is 'very tight'

Eagles notes, quotes and tidbits: Frank Reich praises WR group, competition is 'very tight'

If Howie Roseman's goal at the wide receiver position this offseason was to turn a weakness into a strength, he certainly achieved it. 

Even after the trade of Jordan Matthews. 

As the Eagles approach their final preseason game on Thursday night, there is an intense battle brewing for the final receiver spot or two. 

"This is, without a doubt, the best group that I've been around for a while," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said Monday. "I mean, from top to bottom, very competitive. They've all flashed. They all deserve to be here. I believe some of these guys, for a couple guys who might not be here, I think they're going to end up someplace else. That's how confident we feel in this group.

"I think, all in all, we're just very happy with the progress they've made and the chemistry in that room and the production that they've had in practice and in games."

It's unclear what the Eagles' receivers group will look like after final cuts. The Eagles kept just five wideouts after final cuts in 2016, but there seems to be a decent chance they'll carry six into 2017. 

Most folks seem to think these four players are locks for the roster: Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins. 

That means the Eagles have these six players fighting it out for either one or two remaining spots: Marcus Johnson, Shelton Gibson, Bryce Treggs, Greg Ward, Paul Turner and Rashard Davis. 

Gibson was a fifth-round draft pick who played better later in the summer after a disastrous start, but he's not guaranteed a spot. Johnson has been very impressive and might be the front-runner. Treggs was on the team last year but didn't have much of an impact. Turner made the initial roster in 2016, but was cut shortly after to make room for Treggs; this summer he's dealt with a serious shoulder injury. Ward is a converted quarterback who has shown a lot of promise. And Davis is a latecomer but is a proven return man. 

There are decisions to be made and they might not be easy. 

So how tight is the competition for those last couple of spots? 

"It's tight. It's very tight. It's always tight," Reich said. "When it comes down to those last roster spots, Coach always emphasizes that it's not only what they do as a receiver, but what they do on special teams, and how they can contribute. Position versatility and special teams, all those things factor into the roster."

For a long time, Matthews was the fifth receiver who was guaranteed to make the roster. His departure in the Ronald Darby trade seemed to open up opportunity for another player. 

"If I'm in that room, and I'm one of those players, yeah, you have to believe that," Reich said. 

More snaps for Kendricks?
Mychal Kendricks has been having a pretty productive preseason. That might be putting it too lightly. 

"Yeah, well, I don't know if you could have any more production than him in the preseason," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. "Good gracious. A little bit of it is being opportunistic, but he's been in the right spots."

Kendricks' production is hard to argue with. In three preseason games, he has three interceptions and returned one of them for a touchdown. 

But the real question surrounding Kendricks is if this is the beginning of more playing time. Last year, he was a part-time player despite being a starter in the team's base package. He was the odd linebacker out when the Eagles went to the nickel package, which happens about 70 percent of the time. It's possible that the Eagles could find ways to use Kendricks as a blitzer — a role in which he thrives — but Schwartz has been hesitant in the past because he didn't want to tip their hand in such situations. 

Schwartz, though, did reveal something interesting on Monday. Because Jordan Hicks has missed some time recently with a sore groin (he's expected to be fine for the opener), the Eagles worked their nickel package a little differently on Sunday. Nigel Bradham slid into the MIKE position and Kendricks replaced him in the two-linebacker nickel package. That's a look the Eagles will probably never use in the season when Hicks is healthy, but right now, they're trying to prepare for everything.

"If we had a game today, Jordan Hicks couldn't play," Schwartz said. "It's our responsibility to get the guys that can best produce on the field. He's certainly forced himself into that conversation."

Back and Beau than ever
Big ol' Beau Allen returned to the practice field on Sunday afternoon after passing his physical and being removed from the non-football injury list. Allen was pretty excited to get back on the field after working out privately throughout all of training camp. 

But apparently, those private workouts on separate fields kept him in good shape — "great shape," according to Schwartz. 

"Talking to him yesterday, he felt his timing was off a little bit, just timing of hands and steps," Schwartz said. "That will come back to him. He even said to me that this isn't his first rodeo. It will come back quick.

"Ideally, we'd like to get him some time in this game. He's fine. But just for, in my mind, and in his mind mentally, when we play the [Washington] Redskins, it's no longer, ‘How is it going to feel?’"

Eagles-Dolphins preseason game: 10 players to watch

Eagles-Dolphins preseason game: 10 players to watch

The all-important third preseason game has arrived. 

Normally, the third of four preseason games is the closest thing teams get to a dress rehearsal during the preseason. Starters normally play into the third quarter, so we'll see plenty of Carson Wentz and the starters on Thursday night against the Dolphins (7 p.m./NBC10).

We know you're going to watch Wentz, so here are 10 other Eagles to watch at the Linc.

Wendell Smallwood
Smallwood finally returned to practice recently after getting over a hamstring injury. And since getting back on the practice field, he has looked dynamic. There are plenty of fears about the Eagles' running attack and Smallwood might end up playing a bigger role than many expect. While LeGarrette Blount will probably get a chance to be the team's primary runner, Smallwood might be the Eagles' best running back between the 20s. Heck, he might be their best overall back. He just needs to stay healthy. 

Derek Barnett 
This week, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said Barnett has put himself in contention to become a starter and it's no surprise. Three sacks in the first two preseason games will do that. But it's more than the sacks; Barnett has been all-around good so far. And with Brandon Graham likely to miss this one, Barnett will get extended reps even if he doesn't start. He can earn himself that starting gig or at least more playing time with another strong performance. 

LeGarrette Blount 
Doug Pederson pretty much squashed the talk about possibly cutting Blount when he said the veteran will have a big role in the offense this season. But that won't do anything to alleviate fears of plenty of fans who have watched Blount look worn and slow this preseason. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. There's a chance we won't know until the regular season starts, but with the first unit's extended time on Thursday, we'll see plenty of Blount. 

Joe Walker 
Jordan Hicks has a quad injury, so we probably won't see him against the Dolphins. Based on training camp practices, Najee Goode is the next guy up at the MIKE position. But after seeing Goode for several years, it's safe to say we all know what he is. Walker is more interesting. He was set to be the team's backup middle linebacker as a rookie before tearing his ACL in the preseason. He'll get plenty of chances on Thursday night. Villanova product Don Cherry has been pushing him for a roster spot. 

Patrick Robinson
It'll be interesting to see how the cornerbacks look against the Dolphins. Ron Brooks is finally healthy again, but it was still Robinson who took reps with the first-team defense in the nickel package. Robinson might be able to salvage a spot on the 53-man roster if he performs well in the slot. He has played it before and has looked decent there since the Ronald Darby trade. 

Bryce Treggs
Treggs had a great first preseason game, despite a $25,000 fine, with seven catches for 91 yards. He was once kind of the forgotten man in the receiving corps, but now appears to have a decent chance at making the roster. Nothing is solidified yet, though, and he'll need to have a good showing in the next two preseason games. 

Torrey Smith
Maybe it's nothing to worry about, but Smith doesn't have a catch in the first two preseason games. Smith certainly doesn't seem worried about it, but what if he doesn't get one in two-plus quarters on Thursday night? Then maybe things change a little. Let's keep an eye on him against the Dolphins. 

Alex McCalister 
So far, on merit alone, Steven Means appears to be ahead of McCalister for the fifth defensive end spot. It seems likely only one will make the roster and Means has also shown the ability to play defensive tackle. But McCalister is younger, a draft pick last year, and might have more upside. He needs to show that to have a chance to beat out Means for a roster spot. 

Terrence Brooks
Brooks once looked to be a roster lock, but then the Eagles went out and signed Corey Graham, who is pretty clearly making the team. Now, it'll depend on how many safeties the team will keep. The two starters — Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod — Graham and special teams ace Chris Maragos are pretty safe bets. If the team keeps five, Brooks is likely the guy. 

Starting O-line 
Sure, this is cheating a little bit, but why single out one offensive lineman? Together, the unit is supposed to be one of the strongest groups in the NFL ... it's just that we haven't seen that yet. Going against the Miami D-line will be as good a test as any.