Eagles

Eagles announce 53-man roster for 2020, go heavy on defense

Eagles

The Eagles left training camp with 80 players earlier this week but now they’re down to their initial 53-man roster.

It’s important to call it an initial 53-man roster and not a final because it’s never final. There will be plenty of movement this season. But the Eagles over the last few days made all the necessary transactions to get their roster to 53 by the 4 p.m. deadline.

The Eagles kept just 23 offensive players and 27 on defense this year. That’s unusual for this team.

Here’s what they were left with:

QB (3): Carson Wentz, Nate Sudfeld, Jalen Hurts

This was obvious. The real question is about their order. The Eagles have said Sudfeld is the No. 2 but he and Hurts basically split reps during training camp. Hurts is the backup of the future and it seems possible that future could start this year.

RB (3): Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Corey Clement

The Eagles decided to go light at running back. This is the first time under Doug Pederson they’ve kept just three backs at final cuts. The Eagles waived Elijah Holyfield, Adrian Killins Jr. and Mike Warren. There’s a chance one or two of those guys ends up on the practice squad. But the fact that they kept just three seems to indicate that Sanders is healthy and ready to be the bell cow in 2020.

WR (7): DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward Jr., John Hightower, Quez Watkins, Alshon Jeffery

 

The Eagles went heavy at wide receiver, keeping seven. One of those is Alshon Jeffery, who has been activated from the Active/PUP. The Eagles are hoping he’ll be able to play in September. With Alshon and Jalen Reagor, two of their seven receivers won’t be ready for Week 1.

TE (2): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert

The Eagles’ top two tight ends were obvious but that third spot was intriguing. Josh Perkins suffered a serious injury in training camp and ended up on IR. That’s when Togiai, the UDFA from Oregon State, began to pull away with the job. But Togiai didn’t make the roster. He’ll likely end up on the practice squad.

OL (8): Matt Pryor, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Jack Driscoll, Jordan Mailata, Nate Herbig

The Eagles placed Brandon Brooks on Reserve/PUP and then kept eight offensive linemen. They waived Sua Opeta but are hoping to get him to their practice squad. And they also waived 6th-round pick Prince Tega Wanogho.

The Eagles worked out veteran OT Cordy Glenn on Friday so this group might not be finished. If the Eagles sign Glenn or another veteran, they’ll have to find a roster spot for them.

DE (6): Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Vinny Curry, Casey Toohill, Genard Avery

The Eagles cut former 4th-round draft pick Shareef Miller and Joe Ostman, who had an impressive camp this summer. Meanwhile, their 7th-round pick this year, Casey Toohill, has made the initial roster. While Toohill was thought to be a project when he was drafted, he had an impressive training camp this summer. Avery made the team despite a disappointing summer.

DT (4): Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Malik Jackson, Hassan Ridgeway

This is a really strong group of defensive tackles. On paper, it’s one of the strongest interior defensive lines in the NFL. The fact that the Eagles kept just four might be a good sign for Hargrave, who missed all of training camp with a torn pec. Maybe he’ll be ready to go for Week 1. If not, the Eagles have Graham and Curry, who can both play inside.

LB (6): Nate Gerry, T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley, Alex Singleton

The Eagles went heavy at linebacker this year. They kept their top three, both rookies and Alex Singleton. These were the six linebackers they had at the end of training camp. Singleton was obviously on the bubble, but the former CFL all-star sticks around as a major special teams contributor. But if the Eagles end up needing another roster spot, his job could be in jeopardy.

CB (5): Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Craig James

The Eagles cut Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas, their 2nd- and 3rd-round picks from the 2017 draft. Right now, they seem a little light on depth here. James is the top outside backup and LeBlanc is the top nickel backup. That might not be enough. But the Eagles will have at least a couple CBs on their 16-man practice squad.

 

S (6): Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills, Will Parks, K’Von Wallace, Marcus Epps, Rudy Ford

With Parks expected to miss at least a few weeks with a hamstring injury, the Eagles went heavy at safety, keeping Epps and Ford. Epps will likely have a pretty significant role at least early in the season. And Ford is a starting gunner on the punt unit.

Specialists (3): Jake Elliott, Cameron Johnston, Rick Lovato

These three have been cemented for a while with no competition in camp. Elliott and Lovato already have extensions in hand. The Eagles should be working to get Johnston one too.

PUP: Brandon Brooks