Chris Johnson

Eagles sign lightning-fast Tremon Smith to practice squad

Eagles sign lightning-fast Tremon Smith to practice squad

If there’s one thing you should know about the newest member of the Eagles’ practice squad, it’s this: 

He’s fast. 

Really, really fast. 

The Eagles on Wednesday signed 23-year-old cornerback/return man Tremon Smith, who has previously played for the Packers and Chiefs. The Eagles released S Chris Johnson from the practice squad to make room. 

Smith, a 2018 sixth-round pick out of Central Arkansas, is known for his blazing speed. At the 2018 Central Arkansas pro day, Smith was clocked running a 40-yard dash time of 4.32. 

To put that 40 time into perspective, that was the top time for all players at the 2018 NFL combine. And just four cornerbacks have run a faster time at the combine in the last 10 years. 

While Smith (6-0, 190) played 74 defensive snaps for the Chiefs last year, he has primarily been a return man during his time in the NFL, first for the Chiefs and then earlier this year for the Packers. 

Smith has returned 46 kickoffs for 1,189 yards (25.8) during his time in the NFL and had a long of 97 yards (he didn’t score) in 2018. 

Before the start of this season, the Chiefs briefly tried Smith at running back before moving him back to corner. He was waived in September and picked up by the Packers. He spent time on the active roster and the practice squad in Green Bay before they released him a couple days ago. 

The Eagles have used a few different kick returners this season. Most recently, Boston Scott has taken over that role from Miles Sanders as Sanders’ offensive duties have grown. The Eagles, as a team, are averaging just 22.1 yards per kick return this season, which ranks around the middle of the pack. 

Here’s what’s Lance Zierlein wrote about Smith during the 2018 pre-draft process: 

“Extremely confident and extremely greedy as an on-ball defender, Smith was asked to play the role of island defender and did so at a high level. While he faced a lower level of competition, he possesses the size, speed, athletic ability and instincts that should be able to translate to the league. Smith has the potential to fight for either an outside or slot role, but he'll need to play with better discipline in order to avoid penalties and big plays.”

It’s unclear if Smith will even stick around for the rest of this season, but it’s easy to see why the Eagles wanted to get him in the building. This type of speed is special and the Eagles have lacked overall speed this year. It can’t hurt to get a look at Smith now and maybe get an extended look at him next offseason. 

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Eagles add safety Chris Johnson to practice squad

Eagles add safety Chris Johnson to practice squad

The Eagles on Tuesday afternoon signed safety Chris Johnson to their practice squad, filling the spot left when they called up Greg Ward last week. 

Johnson, 24, played college ball at North Alabama and spent a month earlier this season on the Texans’ practice squad. 

At North Alabama, Johnson (6-3, 200) was a starter in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, he had 47 tackles and two interceptions for the Lions in their first season as a NCAA Division I FCS team. He was invited to the East-West Shrine Game. 

Judging by some college highlights and pro day numbers, Johnson has a unique blend of size and speed. He ran a 4.42 at a regional combine in the spring, which is pretty impressive for a player that’s 6-3. While pro day numbers can sometimes be suspect, a 4.42 would have tied him for fifth among safeties at the combine this year. That’s the same time second-round pick Juan Thornhill ran. 

Johnson signed with the Texans in April and was there until October. He was on their practice squad from Sept. 2 to Oct. 9. 

The Eagles, meanwhile, have had plenty of turnover at the safety position this year. Right now, Marcus Epps, who was swapped mid-season for Andrew Sendejo, is the Eagles’ third safety. Johnson has a steep uphill battle to ever make the roster, but he has an intriguing physical profile. 

Believe it or not, Johnson isn’t even the first safety with the same name to play with the Eagles. 

Here’s an updated look at the Eagles’ practice squad: 

WR Robert Davis 
WR Marcus Green 
DT Bruce Hector
RB De’Angelo Henderson Sr. 
S Chris Johnson
QB Kyle Lauletta
OG Sua Opeta
TE Scott Orndoff
TE Josh Perkins
C Keegan Render 

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NFL Notes: Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher eligible for HOF

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NFL Notes: Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher eligible for HOF

CANTON, Ohio -- Ray Lewis, Randy Moss and Brian Urlacher are among 11 first-year eligible players for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Also part of the 108 early nominees who are eligible for the first time, having been retired for five years when the class is chosen next February, are Ronde Barber, Donald Driver, Steve Smith (former Giant, Eagle and Ram), Steve Hutchinson, Matt Birk, Jeff Saturday, Richard Seymour and Kyle Vanden Bosch.

The roster of nominees consists of 53 offensive players, 38 defensive players, five special teams players and 12 coaches. Modern era nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and, from there, to 15 finalists in January.

During Super Bowl week, voters will discuss the finalists, plus senior nominees Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer and contributors nominee Bobby Beathard. There is no set number for any class of enshrinees, though between four and eight new members will be selected (see full story).

Cardinals: David Johnson on IR; Chris Johnson re-signs
PHOENIX -- The Arizona Cardinals have placed All-Pro David Johnson on injured reserve and re-signed veteran running back Chris Johnson.

The team also signed ex-Arizona State running back D.J. Foster, who grew up in nearby Scottsdale, off the New England practice squad.

The Cardinals had released Chris Johnson in their final roster cuts this year.

ESPN reported Tuesday that David Johnson would undergo surgery on his dislocated left wrist and would be sidelined two to three months.

Although the Cardinals didn't say anything about the surgery, placing him on injured reserve would seem to confirm the report. Under NFL rules, David Johnson would be eligible to come off IR in eight weeks, which coincides with the Cardinals' bye. But he could well be out another month after that.

Coach Bruce Arians said Monday that Johnson's injury was the same as that of Arizona rookie T.J. Logan. The timetable for Logan's return was eight to 12 weeks (see full story).

Bengals: ‘Pacman’ back after 1-game suspension
Adam "Pacman" Jones watched on television and winced as the Bengals stumbled through one of their worst season openers.

He's back from his NFL suspension aiming to help them get beyond it.

The cornerback served a one-game suspension for his offseason arrest and misdemeanor conviction. He was activated Tuesday and will start against the Texans at Paul Brown Stadium on Thursday night.

The Bengals lost to the Ravens 20-0, the first time in their history that they were blanked in a season opener at home. Most of the issues involved the offense -- Andy Dalton had five turnovers -- but the young defense had bad moments as well.

Linebacker Vontaze Burfict has two games left on his latest NFL suspension (see full story).