EAGLES INSIDER

Did the Eagles find another gem on the practice squad?

EAGLES INSIDER

He played 30 snaps against the Cowboys, made four tackles, dropped an interception and allowed just one completed pass.

And he's still never been on an NFL roster.

Michael Jacquet.

He’s the latest Eagles emergency cornerback in a long line of emergency cornerbacks forced into action over the past few years.

And he played amazingly well a week ago Sunday considering he’s undrafted, he was out of football until the Eagles re-signed him to the practice squad on Sept. 29, he had never played in an NFL preseason or regular season game, and he’s still technically on the practice squad.

With Cre’Von LeBlanc inactive with a quad injury, Jacquet was a game-day practice squad call-up for the Cowboys game. And when Darius Slay hobbled off the field in the middle of the second quarter, he got his shot.

"He stepped and had to fill some big shoes," Rodney McLeod said. "Slay goes down, and now he's asked to come in and in a meaningful game with our season on the line, and he didn't blink."

Fortunately for the Eagles, Avonte Maddox was available after missing virtually all of the four previous games, but Jacquet played 30 snaps and allowed just one completion – an 11-yarder from Ben DiNucci to CeeDee Lamb.

The NFL has only kept track of snap counts since 2012, but Jacquet’s 30 snaps are the most on record by an undrafted Eagles defensive player in his first career game.

Jacquet, who spent two years as a wide receiver at Louisiana before converting to corner, became the 20th Eagle, 16th rookie and 6th undrafted rookie to make his NFL debut this year.

 

"That's the way the league has gone this year," Jim Schwartz said. "You have the taxi squad of the practice squad, and whether it's COVID-related or injury-related, you get a lot of those guys that are Sunday-morning call-ups or Saturday call-ups, and it just shows how much work they need to put in preparation-wise, because they could get called up at any second."

Jacquet became the 26th defensive back to play for the Eagles in 4 ½ years under Schwartz and the 10th undrafted d-back.

"I think probably the best way to put it is you really didn't notice he was out there, and if you're a corner, that’s not necessarily a bad thing," Schwartz said. "He'd probably like his one play back, probably should have had an interception, but he was there when the team needed him. Maybe on Wednesday or Thursday of that week, he wasn't even in the ballpark of if he was going to play."

Jacquet looked like he belonged, and that’s saying a lot considering Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Lamb were on the other side of the line of scrimmage.

No matter who’s at quarterback, that's a formidable group to make your NFL debut against.

McLeod said he kept yelling over to Jacquet to help him out pre-snap.

"And continually out there, he was saying, 'Bro, I got this, I'm good. Like, you don't have to tell me everything,'" McLeod said with a laugh. "And that's what you want to see from a rookie. A guy like himself who's confident and he made plays. He tackled well, he dropped an interception and we made fun of him for that, but I think he played a very good game."

Can Jacquet follow in the footsteps of Greg Ward, Boston Scott, Travis Fulgham and Alex Singleton and become an impact player here?

Too early to say. But it was certainly an auspicious debut.

"That's one thing that (d-backs coach Marquand Manuel) does a great job with (in) our room," McLeod said. "I think this coaching staff as a whole (does well) preparing guys for the moment. Mike's another example of that."