The Eagles on Wednesday morning activated the 21-day practice windows for defensive end Vinny Curry and cornerback Craig James.
The Eagles also re-signed running back Adrian Killins Jr. to the practice squad after he cleared waivers.
For Curry (hamstring) and James (thigh), this is an important step as they work their way back from Injured Reserve. Both players were put on IR after suffering injuries in the Eagles’ Week 1 loss in Washington.
According to the new rules in 2020, players need to spend just three weeks (they must miss three games) on IR before they are eligible to return. This is the first week Curry and James are eligible to return.
It’s important to note that just because the practice windows will open on Wednesday, there’s no guarantee either player will be ready to play on Sunday against the Steelers. They remain on IR until a decision is made. Within three weeks, the Eagles will have to decide whether to activate them or put them on IR for the rest of the season.
Just last week, the Eagles activated the practice window of rookie receiver Quez Watkins, but he was not ready to return against the 49ers.
If Curry, James or Watkins are ready to play this Sunday in Pittsburgh, they must be added to the active roster by 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The defensive line hasn’t missed a beat without Curry. In fact, in his absence we saw the emergence of Genard Avery last week as a rotational piece. But Curry was playing pretty well before his injury so having another defensive end in the mix will only help the defensive line, which has been the strongest position group on the team through four weeks.
But the Eagles could really use James. Not only do they need him as a gunner on special teams, but they really need him as a cornerback right now. Avonte Maddox is dealing with an ankle injury and Trevor Williams is on IR with a rib injury. So last week, the Eagles were forced to slide Jalen Mills back to corner from safety.
With Curry, James and Watkins practicing, the only player on IR who is eligible to return who hasn’t returned to practice is safety Will Parks, who suffered a hamstring injury before the start of the season. That injury seems to be lingering a little more than some expected.