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Eagles could be searching for the next Greg Ward off practice squad | Early Birds

Breaking down the three wide receiver options the Eagles have on the practice squad.

Eagles wide receiver Marken Michel practices during training camp in August.
Eagles wide receiver Marken Michel practices during training camp in August.Read moreDAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

Good morning, Eagles fans. Still buzzing from the team’s first win since Nov. 3? I figured you would be. The Eagles’ players don’t have the same luxury, though. This is a short week with another essential game on the horizon. The team won’t be getting on a plane for the foreseeable future, but a bus ride to FedEx Field in Maryland looms this weekend.

The Eagles’ coordinators will meet with reporters this afternoon, and some players will be available, too. Be sure to keep an eye out for updates on the availability. There might even be a roster move, as the Eagles work to reassemble their wide receiving corps without Alshon Jeffery. More on that later.

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Practice makes perfect

Once again, the Eagles find themselves reimagining the wide receiver position on the fly after a losing a starter. Alshon Jeffery has a “significant” injury, according to Eagles coach Doug Pederson. It may or may not be season-ending — we’ll likely find out more information soon — but he’ll probably miss at least a couple of games.

The team is already without DeSean Jackson, who is on injured reserve after having surgery to repair a core muscle injury. Nelson Agholor missed Monday’s game against New York with a knee injury, which left the team with three healthy receivers against the Giants. Even if Agholor is ready for Sunday’s game against Washington, the team only has three wideouts ready to play.

Pederson told reporters on Tuesday that Agholor’s status for Sunday is “still up in the air”, and suggested they could add a practice-squad receiver (they have three) to supplement the depleted position group.

“We definitely have a couple guys on practice squad if we need to make a move,” Pederson said. “Obviously, as you know, we could look outside the building if we need to.”

Here are the three wideouts the Eagles already have on the practice squad, and what you need to know about them:

  1. Marcus Green: Green is a 5-foot-9, 191-pound receiver who played his college ball at Louisiana Monroe. He was selected in the sixth round of last April’s draft by the Atlanta Falcons, but has yet to play an NFL snap. He was cut by the Falcons at the end of training camp and was added to the Eagles’ practice squad on Sept. 1.

  2. Marken Michel: The former CFL standout is back with the Eagles after playing with the team during the preseason. Michel, a 5-11, 190-pound receiver, is the older brother of Patriots running back Sony Michel. He was waived at the end of training camp, but the team signed him back to the practice squad last week. He was the 2017 CFL rookie of the year while playing for the Calgary Stampeders, but hasn’t played in a regular-season NFL game yet.

  3. Robert Davis: Another recent addition to the team’s taxi squad, Davis signed with the Eagles on Dec. 7. At 6-3, 210, he’s the biggest receiver of the bunch, which may help his case to join the 53-man roster. The Georgia State alum is also has the most NFL experience. Since being selected by Washington in the sixth round of the 2017 draft, Davis has played in four regular-season games. His last game action came during Week 4 this season with Washington, when he recorded his first career catch for 11 yards.

What you need to know about the Eagles

  1. The Eagles stayed firmly in the playoff race with their win over the Giants, but the path got much harder due to a few costly injuries, writes Les Bowen.

  2. If your head is still spinning from Monday’s game, be sure to read Paul Domowitch’s five reasons the Eagles left with a win.

  3. Greg Ward fought through adversity to make it to the Eagles’ 53-man roster. Now the Eagles need him to salvage this season, writes Domo.

  4. Carson Wentz delivered a signature win against the Giants, writes Jeff McLane, along with the other things we learned from Monday’s game.

  5. That signature win came partly thanks to Brandon Brooks’ words of encouragement to Wentz following the team’s loss last week, writes Marcus Hayes.

  6. The Patriots are back in the news for cheating allegations. Find out what’s going on with Rob Tornoe’s roundup.

  7. Wentz and his wife are having a little girl. Ellie Silverman writes about the video Wentz’s family posted on social media to announce the news.

  8. Boston Scott is technically obese. Take it from someone who sees him every day: He’s built like a tank. Tom Avril says the Eagles’ heroic running back is a great example of how the BMI index fails some body types.

From the mailbag

Boston Scott was really effective in Monday’s win against the Giants. What are the chances the Eagles will actually stick with the run in the next game or abandon it at the first hint of trouble like they’ve done so many times in the past? Dan May (@dannmaal) via Twitter.

Good question, Dan. I don’t think it’s a coincidence the Eagles offense has gone so pass-heavy since Jordan Howard was sidelined with a shoulder stinger. Before the bye week, the Eagles won two games in a row prioritizing the running game and leaning heavily on Howard. But with the running back missing time, the team has rightfully asked Carson Wentz to pick up the slack, and the results have been mixed. He’s averaging 45.25 attempts per game since Howard went down. Before, he was throwing the ball 33.7 times per game.

I still think the best version of the Eagles is a team that prioritizes controlling the line of scrimmage, setting up the pass by threatening with the run, and letting Wentz make the necessary plays on third downs and late in games. When they ask Wentz to do it all, there will be games it works, but there will also be games when the offense looks terrible, like it did against the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this team’s offensive identity continues to run through Wentz. I’m certain of one thing, though: Boston Scott has earned a role moving forward, even when Howard comes back. Miles Sanders was the team’s only offensive weapon early in Monday’s game, but Scott brought some juice to the offense that was essential.