Eagles

Eagles add tight end Josh Perkins, cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc, release defensive tackle Albert Huggins

Eagles add tight end Josh Perkins, cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc, release defensive tackle Albert Huggins

The Eagles added tight end Josh Perkins and cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc to the active roster on Saturday and both are making the trip to Miami for the Eagles’ game Sunday against the Dolphins.

Perkins had been on the practice squad, and LeBlanc had been on Injured Reserve.

The Eagles also released defensive tackle Albert Huggins. They already had one open spot on the roster after releasing Jordan Matthews on Monday.

Zach Ertz has been hobbled by a hamstring injury this week, and Dallas Goedert was the only other tight end on the roster. Goedert has 31 catches for 289 yards and a team-high four TD catches this year.

Ertz, who has twice as many yards or catches as anybody else on the roster, didn’t practice on Wednesday and was limited in practice on Friday. The Eagles didn’t practice on Thursday.

Perkins has been on the Eagles’ practice squad all year. He’s played in 17 games in his career, eight with the Falcons in 2016 and nine for the Eagles last year.  He has eight career receptions for 109 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown from Matt Ryan against the Panthers in a 33-16 win in Charlotte on Christmas Eve, 2016.

At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Perkins can also play some wide receiver. He caught four passes for 57 yards as a wide receiver in a game last year against the Buccaneers. Curiously, Ryan Fitzpatrick was the Buccaneers’ quarterback in that game and starts against the Eagles Sunday for the Dolphins.

Perkins is the 8th player the Eagles have signed to their 53-man roster this year off their practice squad this year, joining Alex Ellis, Bruce Hector, Boston Scott, Alex Singleton, Greg Ward, Craig James and Ryan Lewis.

Other players on the 53-man roster who have spent time on practice squads include Daeshon Hall (Texans), Huggins (Texans), Anthony Rush (Raiders), LeBlanc (Lions), Jake Elliott (Bengals), Nate Sudfeld (Eagles) and Nate Gerry (Eagles).

That means 15 players on the 53-man roster have spent time on a practice squad.

The Eagles last week opened the 21-day window for LeBlanc to practice before deciding whether to activate him or shut him down for the year. He suffered a foot injury during training camp.

“This was a good week for him,” head coach Doug Pederson said Friday.  “Not only to activate him, but to get him back in practice, get him moving around, listening to the calls and executing and all that. Yeah, he's progressing. This is a good week for him.”

LeBlanc, 25, injured his foot very early in training camp and was then put on IR. He was eligible to return after eight games, but it has taken a little longer than that. LeBlanc didn’t return to practice until Wednesday but said it went well.

The only difference between a practice and the rehab work he had been doing is there’s more cutting and changing of directions in practice. LeBlanc admitted he probably isn’t completely back in football shape, but that will come.

And the Eagles won’t put him into a huge role anyway.

The Eagles have solidified their secondary after Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby and Avonte Maddox all returned from injury. That trio has been starting for the Eagles. Perhaps LeBlanc will have a role when the Eagles use four cornerbacks in their dime package. He and Maddox offer the Eagles some versatility. As expected, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz earlier this week was coy about LeBlanc’s role.

The Eagles claimed LeBlanc off waivers last season and he ended up being a really important player down the stretch. He brought some stability to the secondary as the team’s primary nickel corner. He’ll likely be the backup nickel upon his return this year; that was his role all spring, behind Maddox.

This will be a special weekend for LeBlanc. Not only will he make his return from a long rehab process, but he’ll do it in his backyard. LeBlanc grew up in Belle Glade, Florida, about 80 miles from Miami.

The Eagles signed Huggins off the Texans’ practice squad on Oct. 21. He played 44 snaps in four games, including a season-high 15 Sunday against the Seahawks.

With Huggins gone and Malik Jackson and Hassan Ridgeway on IR, the Eagles only have three defensive tackles on the active roster: Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan and Anthony Rush.

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A myth dispelled, thoughts on the Carson Sucks crowd and much more in Roob's 10 Random Eagles Observations!

A myth dispelled, thoughts on the Carson Sucks crowd and much more in Roob's 10 Random Eagles Observations!

Another myth dispelled, thoughts on the Carson Sucks crowd, an observation about Duce Staley and lots more in this weekend's edition of Roob's Random Eagles Observations! 

1. Dwayne Haskins may develop into a big-time NFL quarterback. He certainly has the arm. But right now he’s a 22-year-old rookie with 3 TDs and 7 INTs in seven career games and a miserable 61.2 passer rating — worst among current starter QBs. This is a quarterback the Eagles need to dominate. Pressure him. Mix coverages and blitzes. Confuse him. When you get your hands on a ball, make the interception. When you get your hands around him, bring him down. He can’t drive the offense 75 yards down the field in 10 plays, but he's got a legit arm so don’t allow big plays over the top. Don’t give the Redskins a reason to keep fighting like you did the last two weeks against bad teams. The Eagles are 4-1 against rookie quarterbacks under Jim Schwartz, allowing 12 points per game. More of that Sunday. This shouldn’t even be a game by 2:30 p.m. But I'm afraid it will be.

2. Here’s one for the Carson Sucks crowd: Despite missing eight games the last two years and with three games still to go, Wentz already has the 9th-most TD passes in NFL history by a QB in his first four seasons. Three more in the last three games move him up to 6th. He’s also thrown 35 interceptions. Of the 10 QBs currently ahead of him in TD passes over their first four seasons, only Russell Wilson has also thrown fewer than 44  interceptions in his first four years, and only Wilson and Dan Marino have a higher passer rating. Worst QB ever.

3. The Eagles have used 18 cornerbacks since 2016.  Eight of them are no longer in the NFL.

4. I’m always up for a good conspiracy theory. Did you know the first manned moon landing was actually fabricated and the astronauts were actually on a film set in Arizona made to look like the moon? For real! I saw it in Capricorn One! Some conspiracy theories are hilarious, like the one making the rounds this week. Did you know Jordan Howard isn’t really hurt, he’s sitting out to protest not having a long-term contract? I swear, I got that from at least a dozen people this past week. Yeah, that’s a great way to get a new contract! Pretend you’re hurt, lie about a neck injury, miss five games, watch your free agency value plummet and hope that the Eagles just happen to forget to inform other teams that you were healthy all along but just didn’t feel like playing. Makes perfect sense!  

5. MYTH: “Jim Schwartz NEVER ADJUSTS.”
REALITY: Since 2016, the Eagles have allowed the 11th-fewest first-half points in the NFL  [11.0 per game], but they’ve allowed the 4th-fewest second-half points [9.6], behind the Vikings, Patriots and Ravens. Among the top 20 defenses in the league over the last four years, only the Vikings [2.1-point differential] have a larger first-half / second-half point differential than the Eagles [1.4 points]. Overall, the Eagles have allowed the 7th-fewest points in the NFL over the last four years.

6. I count 21 Eagles players who’ve missed a total of 105 games so far this year, a figure that will go up considering how many won’t be playing the next three. Two things: 1) The Eagles have to take an honest look at every facet of their training, conditioning and rehab this offseason and figure out why half the team is always hurt. And 2) It really makes you appreciate guys like Malcolm Jenkins and Jason Kelce, the only Eagles to start and finish all 45 games since opening day 2017. Not far behind are Brandon Graham and Brandon Brooks (44), Fletcher Cox (43) and Zach Ertz (42). Those guys have been there for their team every step of the way — or almost every step — for three years now. They're all-time Eagles.

7. What the heck is going on with Genard Avery? The Eagles spent a 4th-round draft pick to acquire Avery from the Browns in October, and he’s played 20 snaps on defense in five games since. TWENTY SNAPS. He didn’t play a snap on defense in the Giants game. His snaps were supposed to go up as he got acclimated to the defense. Now he’s not even playing. He’s been here seven weeks now, and he can’t even get a single snap on defense? He’s playing a lot on special teams (19 snaps per game), but that’s an awfully expensive special teamer.

8. How bad are the Redskins? They've scored 79 points in six home games. They have eight offensive touchdowns at Fedex Field this year. And five of them were in their first two games. They've scored THREE offensive touchdowns in their last four home games. The Eagles are actually 3rd-BEST in the NFL in road scoring at 29.3 points per game. This REALLY needs to be a blowout.

9. Rasul Douglas is the Eagles’ best cornerback.

10. Think about Duce Staley’s body of work as Eagles running backs coach: 1) Got a 776-yard, 9-TD season out of Ryan Mathews in 2016. 2) Won a Super Bowl with LeGarrette Blount on his last legs and Jay Ajayi coming in halfway through the season. 3) Undrafted rookie Corey Clement, who had 10 catches all year, had a 100-yard receiving game and miracle TD in a Super Bowl. 4) Got over 500 yards and a 4.3 average from undrafted rookie Josh Adams in 2018. 5) Miles Sanders has already broken the franchise record for scrimmage yards by a rookie. 6) Jordan Howard was in the midst of a comeback year with a 4.4 average and 7 TDs before he got hurt. 7) Darren Sproles netted nearly 1,400 scrimmage yards in just 30 games, all after turning 33. 8) Boston Scott comes off the practice squad to pile up 128 scrimmage yards in a critical win over the Giants. 9) Eagles are the No. 12 rushing team in the NFL in four years under Staley even though nobody on the roster has rushed for more than 850 yards TOTAL during that span. 10) All 11 running backs who’ve gotten at least 30 carries under Staley have averaged at least 4.0 yards per carry under Duce. Nine of them have averaged at least 4.3 yards per carry. The Eagles haven’t had a back with 550 yards in consecutive years since Shady, yet the Eagles always seem to run the ball well. The guy’s really good.

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Eagles rule out Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor and Jordan Howard day before Washington game

Eagles rule out Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor and Jordan Howard day before Washington game

The Eagles on Saturday afternoon have taken some suspense out of the weekend, downgrading Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor and Jordan Howard to out for Sunday’s game.

All three were initially listed as questionable on Friday.

The only player still questionable going into Sunday’s game in Washington is cornerback Ronald Darby, who popped up on the injury report Friday with a hip flexor injury.

The Eagles have now ruled out a total of four players for the game: Lane Johnson (ankle), Derek Barnett (ankle), Nelson Agholor (ankle) and Jordan Howard (shoulder).

Without Agholor, the Eagles are down to just three healthy receivers on the active roster: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward Jr. and recent call-up Rob Davis. They have three more on the practice squad but would have to promote of them in the next few hours for them to be eligible to play on Sunday.

The Eagles went into last weekend with three healthy receivers and then Alshon Jeffery went down and even Arcega-Whiteside had to leave the game. They finished with one healthy receiver but apparently haven’t learned their lesson. Expect tight end Josh Perkins to play some at receiver.

This will be Agholor’s third missed game in four weeks. He said earlier this week he has been dealing with a knee injury since the Vikings game in Week 6.

Barnett will miss his second straight game after hurting his ankle in the loss in Miami. Vinny Curry started last week and played well; so did Josh Sweat, who rotated in.

Howard will miss his fifth straight game on Sunday. He suffered a stinger in the Bears game before the bye week and still hasn’t been cleared for contact. The Eagles are keeping him on the roster in hopes that he’ll be able to get cleared before the end of the season but after Sunday, there are just two regular season games remaining and no guarantee of a playoff berth.

Without Johnson, Halapoulivaati Vaitai will start at right tackle and rookie Andre Dillard will be the backup swing tackle.

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