The Eagles finished Friday’s practice with just two healthy tight ends, Joshua Perkins and Caleb Wilson.
Zach Ertz also missed Friday’s practice with an upper-body injury. Ertz is considered “day-to-day” with the unspecified injury. Dallas Goedert has been sidelined since Thursday, leaving the Eagles without their top two tight ends.
Goedert popped up on the injury report Wednesday with a day-to-day designation. According to a league source, Goedert has a hairline thumb fracture, although it’s not considered serious enough to keep him out of the season opener next month. NFL Network was the first to report the details of the third-year tight end’s injury.
Also, undrafted free agent Noah Togiai left Friday’s practice after seemingly getting hurt during team drills.
The Eagles are off Saturday but might need to add a tight end if Ertz, Goedert, and Togiai are expected to miss some time.
Receivers Jalen Reagor and Deontay Burnett, defensive end Shareef Miller, and cornerback Rasul Douglas missed Friday’s practice with the illness designation, although it’s important to note that “illness” could mean many things and does not indicate a positive coronavirus test or a connection to the virus at all.
Players who were exposed to someone who tested positive or who are showing symptoms of unidentified sickness could fall under the description of “illness.” If a player tests positive for coronavirus, they eventually must be added to the Reserve/COVID-19 list. No Eagles were on that list as of Friday afternoon.
Also, safety Marcus Epps is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Eagles receiver Quez Watkins’ toughest matchup through camp so far has also been the most educational.
The sixth-round rookie said Darius Slay, the team’s best cornerback, was the toughest to go against because of his patience off the line of scrimmage.
“I believe Slay [was the hardest], he was the most patient and he’s handsy,” Watkins said. “He wants to wait on you. But all of them are great corners.”
After the play, Watkins said he found an unexpected ally in Slay, 29, who is entering his first season with the Eagles after being acquired from the Detroit Lions.
“He was just telling me what I did well and telling me what I could have done better to affect him in a different way,” Watkins said. “So, really, I feel like with him, he’s going to help you after the play, after the fact. If it’s one-on-ones or whatever, he’s going to coach you up on what you could have done better. If he’s teaching me about what I could have done to affect him, that shows he’s actually trying to help the team, not just himself.”
The Eagles have rotated nearly all of their wide receivers into the first-team offense during the early days of training camp. Watkins and fifth-round rookie John Hightower are competing against a handful of wideouts for one or two roster spots, and both have had promising flashes during practices. Hightower was one of the standout performers in Thursday’s practice, and Watkins has had his moments, too.
Hightower said he has noticed a developing connection with Carson Wentz through the first week of camp.
“I think the chemistry is definitely coming along well as far as timing and everything,” he said. “But I feel like we have a lot of room to improve.”
Eagles players wore specially designed jerseys Friday that featured neon-green numbers and nameplates along with an autism awareness logo.
The jerseys will be signed and auctioned next month, with all the proceeds going to the Eagles Autism Foundation. The auction will take place during the Eagles Radiothon, which starts Sept. 3.