Eagles activate 2 players off IR and make other roster moves for Sunday


The Eagles on Saturday afternoon made several roster moves to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Most notably, the Eagles activated two players off Injured Reserve to add depth at receiver and in the secondary.

Here’s the full list of moves from Saturday:

• WR Quez Watkins (back) and Craig James (thigh) have been activated off of IR and are now on the 53-man roster.

• DB Grayland Arnold has been signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.

• TE Jason Croom and DB Elijah Riley have been elevated from the practice squad for Sunday’s game.

Watkins had been on IR since just after final cuts. This means that he will make his NFL debut on Sunday afternoon. With Watkins active, the Eagles will have five receivers available: Greg Ward Jr., John Hightower, Travis Fulgham, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Watkins. DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Alshon Jeffery (foot, illness) have already been ruled out. The difference from last week is the Eagles will have Watkins, a sixth-round pick, instead of Deontay Burnett.

The addition of James is a big one for the Eagles. It’ll be interesting to see if Jalen Mills stays at corner for this game or if James gets the start opposite Darius Slay. With Avonte Maddox (ankle) out, the Eagles have been light on cornerbacks. If nothing else, James has been a key part of Dave Fipp’s special teams units.

Even though he practiced this week, the Eagles left Vinny Curry (hamstring) on IR. He must not be ready yet. And in his absence, the line has played well.


Croom will be the Eagles’ third tight end behind Zach Ertz and Richard Rodgers against the Steelers. The Eagles have Hakeem Butler on the roster but he’s still new and is being converted from receiver to tight end. Croom back in 2018 caught 22 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown as a member of the Bills.

Croom and Riley are being elevated thanks to special rules for the 2020 season. Basically, they are given safe passage to and from the active roster from the practice squad without being subjected to the waiver process.

And Arnold had already been elevated twice, which is the limit. So instead, the Eagles have just signed him to their active roster. Arnold played special teams against the Bengals and 49ers, a total of 27 snaps.