The Eagles hosted the Patriots on Tuesday morning for the second of two joint practices before these two teams play at the Linc on Thursday night.
The second practice wasn’t as long as the first, lasting 1 hour and 20 minutes, but the two teams got in some solid work, mostly in the red zone.
Here are today’s observations:
1. A few housekeeping notes:
• The big news of Tuesday was that DeVonta Smith (knee) participated in team drills for the first time since his injury back on Day 4 of camp. He didn’t take all the reps but it was good to see him back out there. Nick Sirianni would like to see him play in this preseason and Smith wants to as well.
• A few newcomers to the injury report, all day-to-day: Derek Barnett (shoulder), Javon Hargrave (ankle), Luke Juriga (ankle) and Jake Elliott (ankle). On Monday, Barnett delivered a vicious hit but maybe he got hurt on that play too. Hargrave has been having a fantastic summer, so hopefully for his sake, this doesn’t slow him down.
The other day-to-day players: Jason Huntley (ribs), Craig James (foot), Ryan Kerrigan (thumb), Joe Ostman (concussion), JaCoby Stevens (hamstring), Casey Tucker (biceps).
Good sign that Stevens is now day-to-day. He was previously week-to-week.
• Still week-to-week: Andre Dillard (knee), Davion Taylor (calf), Kerryon Johnson (knee).
• Limited: Genard Avery (groin), John Hightower (groin), Andre Patton (knee), Smith (knee), K’Von Wallace (groin), Le’Raven Clark (ramping up after coming off PUP).
2. Like we mentioned, Smith was back in team drills for the first time today but notably didn’t participate in 1-on-1 drills. But with him out there and running with the ones, we saw a lot of Smith and Jalen Reagor outside with Quez Watkins in the slot. It’s starting to feel like that group might be the Eagles’ best option in Week 1.
3. Remember back on Aug. 5, when I told you that Reagor made the catch of training camp?
He did it again. But this one was even better.
Before practice, Sirianni mentioned that Reagor looked “special” in 1-on-1 drills and that was before this catch.
It was actually a very similar play, a one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone. This time, he soared over Patriots corner Michael Jackson Sr. for a thriller of a catch. I happened to be a few yards away from it and I can say confidently that it was one of the best caches I have ever seen in a training camp. It seemed so effortless. The most impressive thing was the authority with which he brought the ball down to secure the catch.
This play happened after reporters and fans in attendance were no longer permitted to take photos or video. Reagor posted the video on a social media account but once the Eagles post it, we’ll update.
4. Some other notes from 1-on-1s:
• Greg Ward had a nice grab over D’Angelo Ross for a touchdown in the end zone.
• No surprise but Jalen Mills was talking a ton of trash during these 1-on-1s. He beat Marken Michel on a rep but then Watkins came right back to catch a touchdown on Mills soon after. Watkins emphatically let Mills, his former teammate, know that he’s not a rookie anymore.
• Watkins also had a tremendous move on J.C. Jackson, who had a rough couple of days in Philly. Watkins undressed him with a quick inside move for a touchdown. It drew “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd.
• Rookie Zech McPhearson had a nice play on WR Jakobi Meyers. McPhearson again showed off his vertical jump to high point a PBU.
• Nelson Agholor had a pretty good couple of days back in South Philly but one play in particular was so Nelly.
During 1-on-1s, he undressed Darius Slay but then dropped the wide-open pass and then proceeded to kick over a couple trash cans.
5. In the first 11-on-11 period of practice, Tyree Jackson made a great grab in the back of the end zone from Joe Flacco and them emphatically spiked the ball. After a rough day on Monday, Jackson was back to his usual self on Tuesday.
Later in practice he caught a pass that took him out of the back of the end zone and then he landed hard on his back. Jackson didn’t leave the field but seemed shaken up. Looked like he got the wind knocked out of him.
6. T.J. Edwards had an interception off Mac Jones during the first 7-on-7 period. And a little later, Alex Singleton had a diving interception near the goal line off of Brian Hoyer.
7. Former NFL receiver Eddie Royal is a coaching intern with the Eagles this summer. After practice, he spent 45 minutes with Travis Fulgham and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside getting in extra work.
8. Zach Ertz continues to make plays. He caught a nice lofted pass in the end zone for a touchdown. Smith lined up on the same side and I thought the ball was going to him but it was intended for Ertz, who pulled it in.
9. A couple touchdown catches for Dallas Goedert on Tuesday, one of which came on a nifty play design from Sirianni. The Eagles are showing much more in these joint practices than they will in preseason games.
10. You might not want to hear this but Arcega-Whiteside had a very productive practice, catching two touchdowns in the back of the end zone in team drills.
Stupid Observation of the Day: The Eagles and Patriots worked the red zone today and I’m not sure I have ever seen a team in the red zone throw short of the goal line as much at the Pats did today. Was kinda strange.
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