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Eagles add linebacker Duke Riley in Atlanta trade that involves Johnathan Cyprien, draft picks

With L.J. Fort gone, the team needed a backup LB who could play special teams.

Linebacker Duke Riley knocked the ball out of Dallas Goedert's hands in a game for the Falcons last year.
Linebacker Duke Riley knocked the ball out of Dallas Goedert's hands in a game for the Falcons last year.Read moreMichael Bryant

The Eagles made a roster move Monday, but it wasn’t the trade for Jacksonville corner Jalen Ramsey that many fans are yearning for.

Linebacker Duke Riley arrived from the Falcons, along with a sixth-round pick in 2020, for safety Johnathan Cyprien and a 2020 seventh-round pick.

The Eagles jettisoned a linebacker on Friday, L.J. Fort, so they could get Orlando Scandrick onto the cornerback-depleted roster. Fort, mainly a special-teams player here, signed with the Ravens.

Cyprien, 29, also mostly a special-teams player here, ended up taking 12 snaps in Jim Schwartz’s defense as injuries mounted in the secondary last week at Green Bay. He committed a really obvious pass-interference penalty.

Riley, 25, was a Falcons third-round draft pick in 2017 from LSU. He has played in 32 games, with 16 starts, but has been relegated exclusively to special teams this season. He’s listed at 6-foot-1, 218.

The Eagles also filled a practice squad opening with cornerback D.J. White, a four-year veteran who was with Washington in training camp.

Sanders Grohing on the OC

Offensive coordinator Mike Groh noted that rookie running back Miles Sanders’ 67-yard kickoff return got the offense kick-started in Green Bay, and that Sanders carried a sure-handed 11 times for 72 yards from scrimmage.

“I think he learned coming out of the Atlanta game, [you] can’t break everything outside. In the last two weeks you’ve seen him adjust to that, and life in the NFL, and the speed of the game, and stick his foot in the ground and get his shoulders going toward the goal line,” Groh said. “He has made some great runs. He has made some runs where he has had to make somebody miss in the hole and gotten extra yards, and then when the hole is there and it’s blocked efficiently, you see his burst through the hole. I think he continues to get better week-to-week.”