Chandon Sullivan

Eagles activate Mike Wallace off injured reserve, release two cornerbacks

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Eagles activate Mike Wallace off injured reserve, release two cornerbacks

Mike Wallace, the three-time 1,000-yard receiver who was one of the Eagles’ more notable offseason acquisitions, was activated off injured reserve Monday afternoon.

Wallace had been on IR since Week 2, when he broke his ankle in the Eagles’ loss to the Buccaneers in Tampa.

Wallace told NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Dave Zangaro three weeks ago that he felt like he was close to being able to return.

Wallace was a Pro Bowler with the Steelers back in 2011 and was still a 1,000-yard receiver as recently as 2016 with the Ravens. But he never got untracked in the two games he played this year, failing to catch a pass against the Falcons despite 66 snaps and then getting hurt after just seven snaps in Tampa.

The Eagles also made these moves:

• Promoted cornerback Josh Hawkins from the practice squad to the 53-man roster

• Released cornerback Chandon Sullivan

• Released cornerback De’Vante Bausby

Wallace becomes the sixth wide receiver on the active roster, joining Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews, Golden Tate and Shelton Gibson.

Head coach Doug Pederson said earlier Monday that he expected Wallace to return to practice Wednesday, but he could have practiced without being activated. It will be interesting to see if he plays Sunday in Washington.

“I will tell that you Mike will entertain some more individual reps, Wednesday, Thursday, and see where he's at moving forward,” Pederson said.

Wallace, 32, has 538 career receptions for 8,072 yards and 57 touchdowns with the Steelers, Dolphins, Vikings and Ravens. His 15.0 career average is among the top 20 among active players in the NFL.

Hawkins just signed to the Eagles’ practice squad on Dec. 11. He began his career as an undrafted free agent with the Packers in 2016, when he played in 11 games, mainly on special teams.

He played a lot on defense in 2017, getting 403 reps, including three starts. He played in five games with the Panthers this year, almost exclusively on special teams.

Hawkins, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, played collegiately at East Carolina. He becomes the 10th cornerback to spend time on the Eagles’ roster this year.

Began the season on the Eagles’ practice squad and was activated to the 53-man roster before the Jacksonville game in London. He played in five games, with 87 reps on defense and 53 on special teams. He started in the second Giants game and got 42 snaps.
Began the season with the Bears, spent a week on the practice squad, then played in the last six games, with 146 snaps on defense and 43 on special teams. Most of his snaps came in the first Giants game (60) and the second Dallas game (61).

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Cre'Von LeBlanc, Eagles' young CBs hold own in season-saving win

Cre'Von LeBlanc, Eagles' young CBs hold own in season-saving win

Just 20 days after the Eagles claimed him off waivers, cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc lined up on 3rd-and-4 from the Eagles’ 11-yard line in the fourth quarter of a three-point game Sunday and looked across the line of scrimmage to see Odell Beckham Jr. staring back at him.

OBJ vs. Cre’Von LeBlanc. On an island. Game and season on the line. 

“I think everybody in the stadium knew where that ball was going,” Malcolm Jenkins said. 

Everyone in the stadium was right. 

But it didn’t go the way everyone probably would have expected. Beckham ran a post and LeBlanc — perhaps with a hold or two that went uncalled — was able to force a huge incompletion to keep the Giants out of the end zone. A field goal tied the game, but the Eagles won it 25-22 on the next possession. 

What went through LeBlanc’s head when he lined up on Beckham for that play? 

For me, it’s a dream come true. That’s the highest paid receiver in the league. That’s Odell. Everybody knows what type of receiver he is. He’s definitely phenomenal and crafty at what he does; hats off to him. For me, just trust my technique. I know what type of player I am. I fear no one. I fear no man. At the end of the day, he put his pants on, I put my pants on and we gonna play ball.

LeBlanc, 24, was just one of three newcomers in the secondary the Eagles featured Sunday out of necessity. Without Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox and with Rasul Douglas still hampered by injury, the Eagles relied on a trio of cornerbacks who have been with the team one month or less. 

Chandon Sullivan, who joined the team on Oct. 25, and De’Vante Bausby, who was promoted from the practice squad on Nov. 17, both started outside. LeBlanc began the game as the nickel cornerback. 

The trio didn’t play a perfect game. There were mistakes made and plays given up. 

But Eli Manning didn’t roast this secondary. OBJ and Sterling Shepard didn’t run free. This group of young and relatively inexperienced cornerbacks sort of held its own. 

“They hung tough. They battled,” Doug Pederson said. “Nothing is easy. Nothing is pretty. You just have to fight and scratch and get the job done. They did that today. Proud of those guys.”

By the end of the day, Manning threw for 297 yards and Beckham caught five passes for 85 yards, but the Eagles will take that. If you’re wondering why the Giants didn’t make more of a concerted effort to target the Eagles’ young cornerbacks, you’re not the only one. 

Jenkins said the Eagles didn’t really roll their coverages much to help Sullivan, Bausby or LeBlanc, which jibes with what Bausby said about the coaching staff. Throughout the whole week, he said, the coaching staff treated them like they were Mills and Darby — the normal starters — getting ready to play. 

“They didn’t change anything,” Bausby said. “They believe and that’s definitely been beneficial for us. You have to go out there and do what you have to do.”

Even though the Eagles made it out of Sunday with a win, their situation at corner didn’t magically get better. In fact, Sullivan got hurt during the game, something that brought a smile of disbelief from Jenkins when he brought it up at his locker. 

But if the Eagles need to roll with these young guys for a while, at least they got some decent experience Sunday. 

“They’ll continue to get better next week,” Jenkins said. “It’s a race to get them just 1 percent better than they were this weekend.”

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Drew Brees torches trio of Eagles who weren’t on roster a month ago

Drew Brees torches trio of Eagles who weren’t on roster a month ago

NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees against Chandon Sullivan, De’Vante Bausby and Cre’Von LeBlanc went about as well as you’d expect. 

The future Hall of Famer, in the middle of his best professional season, torched a bunch of cornerbacks who weren’t even on the Eagles’ roster a month ago. 

“It’s tough,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “You put it together, we piece it together, we brought guys up off the practice squad this week to elevate their play and get them in the game. It’s hard when you’re going against a Hall of Fame player in Drew and the weapons they have on offense, it’s a difficult task, but again, we’re not going to hang our heads and we’re going to keep fighting.” 

Already down Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills, the Eagles lost Rasul Douglas (knee), Avonte Maddox (knee) and Sidney Jones (hamstring) throughout the 48-7 beatdown. That meant they were down to three cornerbacks who haven’t been on the roster a month. 

Here’s when the trio that ended the game arrived to the 53-man roster: 

11/17: De’Vante Bausby promoted from the practice squad 
11/5: Cre’Von LeBlanc claimed off waivers 
10/25: Chandon Sullivan promoted from the practice squad 

Of the group, LeBlanc has the most NFL experience. He played in his 33rd-career game Sunday. It was Bausby’s fifth-career game. It was Sullivan’s third. It was career game No. 259 for Brees. 

To be fair, it's not like Douglas, Jones and Maddox were having good games before they left either. They were torched early before the next trio was torched late. 

Brees had a passer rating of 153.3, the highest of what seems to be an MVP season. He was likely going to go off no matter what happened in the Eagles secondary … and then a decimated unit was again ravaged by more injuries. 

That’s not great, especially against a guy like Brees and in a stadium like the Superdome. The Saints were off and running on that fast track. 

“He’s a good quarterback. He did his thing,” Bausby said. “I ain’t gonna lie. Some plays out there we should have made. Back to the drawing board.”

Brees threw for 363 yards, four touchdowns and completed over 73 percent of his passes against the Birds, which is nearly unprecedented. He’s just the fifth player to ever put up those numbers against the Eagles. Although, Ryan Fitzpatrick did it earlier this year.

Things might not get any better in a hurry for the Eagles at corner either. Jones hurt his hamstring as he returned from a hamstring injury that kept him out three weeks. Douglas had a brace on his knee as he left the locker room. And that Maddox injury didn’t look pretty. 

“It’s very unfortunate but the injury rate in this league is 100 percent,” Sullivan said. “On any given play, it can be the last play of the season. It’s just the next man up mentality. We just have to go out there and keep fighting with the guys we have and move forward.”  

The guys on the roster have no choice but to move forward after all these injuries. But that doesn’t mean things are going to get any easier.

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