Nate Gerry

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

Howie Roseman breaks down decisions: 8 on OL, Nate Gerry cut, Sidney Jones update

Howie Roseman breaks down decisions: 8 on OL, Nate Gerry cut, Sidney Jones update

The Eagles cut 17 more players Saturday to get down to the NFL required the 53-man limit (see full roster)

And there were a few surprises.

The Eagles ended up keeping five running backs and six receivers but just eight offensive linemen. They kept underperforming draft picks Donnel Pumphrey and Shelton Gibson but decided to cut linebacker Nate Gerry. 

Here are some interesting notes from Roseman's press conference minutes after the roster was set: 

Light on the O-line
Keeping just eight offensive linemen is pretty unusual. Roseman talked about the potential to bring some of their young players back, but he admitted this was a new way of doing things. 

In fact, he said the Eagles looked around at the NFL to see how many teams keep just eight and it "made [them] feel better about the decision." 

After the five starters, the Eagles kept Stefen Wisniewski, Chance Warmack and Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Roseman touted their versatility, saying Wisniewski can play all three interior positions, Warmack can play right and left guard and "Big V" can play right and left tackle. 

"We think we have eight starters on the offensive line," Roseman said. "So not only [Warmack], but in Wiz and V, we think those guys are all starters in the National Football League. I know I've said this a lot, so I'm going to sound repetitive, but it's hard to find offensive linemen. It's hard to find those guys."

Gerry gets the boot
Just one of the Eagles' eight draft picks didn't make their initial 53-man roster Saturday: fifth-round linebacker Nate Gerry. 

Gerry was always going to be somewhat of a project. The Eagles brought him in to convert to linebacker after playing safety at Nebraska. It appeared that the transition was going well. But Gerry wasn't able to beat out the players in front of him. 

Roseman explained why: "Well, I think it's a credit to the other guys at that position. When you look at the guys that we kept beyond the three starters, [LB] Joe Walker had a good preseason. He's another guy coming off a knee injury. We were really bummed when he got hurt last year. He's got physical traits. It's hard to find MIKE linebackers who have shock, and he's able to do that.

"Then you look at Najee (Goode). Najee has versatility. He can back up really both the outside positions and play inside, and [he is] really a huge part of our special teams. It's important for us to be good on special teams.

"And then Kamu (Grugier-Hill), when we look at Kamu, we think he has a chance to be not only one of the better special teams players on our team but in the league. That was a tough one. That was one of the last ones we did right there. We understand it's a transition for him and it's going to take some time. But it was just the nature of the numbers game."

An update on Jones
Among the moves the Eagles made the past two days, there was one formality. The team placed second-round pick Sidney Jones on the reserve/non-football injury list. Jones is still recovering from the Achilles tear he suffered at his pro day before the draft. 

The Eagles have been noncommittal since drafting Jones about whether or not he'll play this season. They've made sure not to rush him. 

On the NFI, Jones will be eligible to practice for three weeks starting in Week 6. The Eagles have a three-week window to decide to activate Jones or send him to IR, ending his rookie season. 

"Obviously, we're talking about six weeks from now, but we have it mapped out," Roseman said. "I don't want to put any restrictions on him or expectations on him at this point. It's going to be day-to-day. But he is doing exactly what we asked of him, and we feel good about where he's at in the process."

Interestingly, Roseman said the Ronald Darby trade ensured the Eagles won't be tempted to rush Jones back to playing. 

"With Sidney, we're going to take it kind of — we have a protocol that our doctors, our trainers and our strength and conditioning staff have put in place," Roseman said. "It's very organized. It's very detailed, and we're just going to knock it down. We have a checklist at every point. He's doing a great job. But again, we have a long way to go and we want to make sure that we're getting the best of Sidney Jones."

Eagles training camp stock watch: Wendell Smallwood up, cornerbacks down

Eagles training camp stock watch: Wendell Smallwood up, cornerbacks down

As training camp wears on and the preseason opener draws nearer, CSNPhilly's Derrick Gunn takes stock of which Eagles are trending upward and which Eagles are trending downward.

Trending up

RB Wendell Smallwood
With LeGarrette Blount missing most of the week due to personal reasons (he told us it was family related), Smallwood took advantage of Blount's absence. In full-contact drills, Smallwood ran with authority — hitting holes, breaking tackles and running away from pursuers. He was especially impressive in the goal-line scrimmage. Smallwood is performing the way an RB who is unsure of his status on the team should — like his roster spot depends on every carry he gets. While the second-year player has the advantage on rookies right now, Smallwood is smart enough to know he cannot have any setbacks with guys like Donnel Pumphrey and Corey Clement hot on his trail.

LB Nathan Gerry
Going into training camp, the question was could the rookie make the transition from safety to linebacker? So far, the answer is yes. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said this of Gerry: "He has responded to every challenge put in front of him. When we had some of those live-contact practices is when he's showed up the most. You expect him to be good in coverage, but he's played very tough and physical. He's been assignment sound."

DT Tim Jernigan 
If Jernigan continues to play the way he has up to this point, he will make people forget about Bennie Logan in a hurry. Mentally tough and technically sound is the best way to describe Jernigan right now. When it's late in practice and the temperature is hovering around 90 degrees and you're rushing the passer, it has to come from somewhere other than physical strength. It becomes more mental to push yourself through. So far, Jernigan has shown his mental makeup equals his physical attributes.

S Corey Graham
How much does the 32-year-old Graham, who was recently signed, have left in the tank? Schwartz, who was with Graham one year in Buffalo, calls him a multidimensional DB. The Eagles will initially insert the 10-year veteran at safety, but he can also player corner and nickel. At 6-foot, 196 pounds, Graham has the ability to match up with WRs and TEs. Coaches referred to him as reliable. That's not a word we've heard coaches use when talking about some of the other secondary personnel. 

Trending down

Cornerbacks
Are the Eagles' starting CBs on the roster right now? Last week, Patrick Robinson told me he's only a quarter of where he wants to be. That's not what you want to hear from a guy who's projected to be counted on heavily. Jalen Mills, C.J. Smith, Aaron Grymes have youth on their side, but you can understand why coaches might be a little nervous. None of them have found that measure of consistency yet. Schwartz says he needs consistency from the whole group and he's very interested to see how the CB competition unfolds. He's looking for playmakers. 

WR Shelton Gibson
Sunday during an open practice session at Lincoln Financial Field, Gibson made a couple of tough leaping catches that drew applause from the crowd and some welcomed encouragement from his teammates. He can use every positive he can get because it has been an up-and-down camp for Gibson. His numerous dropped passes in practices are not going to help his cause. There are only so many WRs this team can keep and, if Gibson doesn't find his groove, he's only helping the decision makers make their choices easier.