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Eagles release WRs Rueben Randle, Chris Givens; six others cut during roster trim

The Eagles released veteran wide receivers Rueben Randle and Chris Givens on Sunday, two high-profile purges as the team begins cutting its roster.

Randle and Givens were the most notable names among a group of eight players released. The other six were defensive tackle Mike Martin, offensive lineman Andrew Gardner, cornerbacks Randall Evans and Denzel Rice, safety Nick Perry, and long snapper John DePalma. The Eagles also placed rookie linebacker Joe Walker and defensive end Alex McCalister on injured reserve.

In an effort to upgrade their depth at wide receiver during the offseason, the Eagles gave one-year deals to Randle and Givens. Both had produced in the past and seemed to be candidates to benefit from changes of scenery. But neither player impressed during the preseason, and the acquisition of Dorial Green-Beckham and emergence of undrafted rookie Paul Turner put their roster positions in peril. The Eagles did not even keep them for the final preseason game, deciding to cut bait before rosters needed to be trimmed to 75 players on Tuesday. With their releases, Turner appears poised to make the roster with a strong final week.

The release of Martin was also a surprise. He was a strong candidate to be the top backup defensive tackle this season, but an early-August knee injury kept him sidelined for all three preseason games. As recently as last Wednesday, coach Doug Pederson spoke about Martin contributing 15-25 snaps per game this season. With Beau Allen and Taylor Hart playing well in reserve roles, the Eagles were apparently ready to move on.

Gardner was a starting guard last season, but a foot injury ended his 2015 campaign after three games and he was buried on the depth chart this summer. When he didn't get an offensive snap in Saturday's preseason win in Indianapolis, his chances did not look good to make the team.

Walker and McCalister, both seventh-round picks, will get to spend the season stashed on injured reserve. Walker tore his anterior cruciate ligament and McCalister has a calf injury that can give him a redshirt rookie season.

The Eagles roster is at 73 players. It must be cut to 53 players by next Saturday.

Extra points

Pederson did not have any updates after the 33-23 win over the Colts on the health status of defensive end Vinny Curry (knee), running back Wendell Smallwood (head), or defensive end Taylor Hart (knee). Curry said he's fine and will be back in a "couple of days." He wasn't expected to play in Thursday's preseason finale. If Smallwood suffered a concussion, he would need to go through the league-mandated concussion protocol, which could put his status for Thursday's game in jeopardy. … The Eagles were off Sunday. They return to practice Monday and Tuesday. Pederson said quarterback Carson Wentz would need to practice one of those day in order to play in the game.

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