Were you scrambling to figure out who No. 59 was for the Eagles on Sunday?
That’s OK. Some of his teammates probably were as well.
No, it wasn’t Dedrick Roper or DeMeco Ryans. It wasn’t Joe Bachie or Mike Labinjo. It certainly wasn’t Seth Joyner.
Meet Cameron Malveaux, who played 34 improbable snaps for the Eagles in their 34-10 win over the Giants Sunday in his first extensive regular-season action in three years.
Who’s Cameron Malveaux?
A 27-year-old former Miami Dolphins / Arizona Cardinals / Kansas City Chief / Washington Football Team / San Francisco 49ers / Cleveland Browns defensive end who before Sunday had played exactly 18 snaps over the last three seasons.
But with Ryan Kerrigan, Derek Barnett and Tarron Jackson all currently in COVID protocol, it’s likely we haven’t seen the last of Malveaux.
The Eagles could get any or all of their three defensive ends back before Sunday’s game against Washington, but as of Tuesday Josh Sweat is the only edge rusher on the Eagles’ 53-man roster, and Malveaux remains on the practice squad.
He played Sunday as a game-day elevation, tied his career high with 34 snaps and had a team-high two quarterback hurries in the Eagles' eighth win of the season.
It was his first extended playing time since December of 2018, when he was part of the Cards’ defensive rotation late in the season.
Malveaux was in training camp this past summer with the Browns but was out of football the first month of the season until the Eagles signed him to the practice squad on Sept. 29.
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“It was a really good acquisition by Howie (Roseman) and Nick (Sirianni),” defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said Tuesday. “Brought him here, and he has a lot of the skill sets we're looking for in a defensive lineman, and what he showed on practice squad and scout teams was he was doing a good job with effort and technique and motor.”
After Ryan Kerrigan was placed on the COVID list Thursday, the Eagles promoted Malveaux to the game-day roster, and he wound up playing the second-most snaps of any defensive end – only five fewer than Barnett.
The 34 snaps matched his career high set with the Dolphins against the Bills on the last day of the 2017 season.
The way the NFL is these days, guys like Malveaux are critical. You never know when a position group is going to be hit with COVID, and when the Eagles needed him, he responded.
Malveaux was out of football in 2019 and played just 18 snaps in 2020 – eight of them for the Browns in a win over the Eagles.
So this is a guy who literally had barely played football in three years.
He waited for his opportunity, kept grinding and made the most of it when it finally arrived.
“We felt really good about him going into the game and playing solid for us, and that's what he did,” Gannon said.
“So we’re excited about him because he's such a good worker. It's nice to see when a guy works and works and keeps working that he got some production and got in the game and did a good job for us.”