The Eagles held their tenth practice of training camp Monday. Here are my observations and notes:
1. The Eagles dialed practice back after the late night open session at the Linc Sunday. The players were in shorts and shells for a 10-10-10 workout (10 minutes for the offense, the defense, and special teams). Competition was sparing. The Eagles spent a good deal of the day working on screens – executing and defending them – and especially on misdirection screens. There are a lot of moving parts on misdirection screens and timing is of the utmost importance. The offense has often looked a click off on these plays, but that's why they practice. Running back Jay Ajayi got to the second level before getting touched on one screen. Linebacker Nigel Bradham, on a play designed to benefit the starting defense, snuffed out a screen to running back Wendell Smallwood. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld tried to loft two screens over the unblocked Steven Means and both times the defensive end batted the ball away.
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2. Nick Foles missed his second straight practice. The Eagles said he had "upper body soreness." Foles missed most of camp last year with elbow soreness but, according to a NFL Network report, this injury is unrelated. With only a day of regular practice until the preseason opener, it's unlikely Foles will play Thursday night. Tight end Zach Ertz was sidelined for the third practice in a row. The Eagles didn't have an update on his condition. Wide receiver Mike Wallace sat out. He said he was dealing with some tendinitis and should be back soon. Tight end Richard Rodgers, receiver Markus Wheaton and linebacker Asantay Brown were out again. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata watched practice — he must have taken another "veteran day." Shelton Gibson was back on the field after clearing concussion protocol. Receiver Alshon Jeffery (shoulder), defensive end Brandon Graham (ankle), defensive tackle Tim Jernigan (back) and safety Chris Maragos (knee) are still recovering. Graham did a little jogging.
3. De'Vante Bausby was back in the slot with the first team defense after three days of Sidney Jones. We still have a way to go before cut-down day on Sept. 1, but I could see the Eagles keeping six cornerbacks – Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Jones, Rasul Douglas, Avonte Maddux and Bausby. Nate Gerry was again the primary weakside linebacker with the first unit. It didn't take long for Corey Graham to get back in his old spot as the third safety. Signed to a one-year deal on Sunday, the 33-year old ran well and once cut off a Rashard Davis slant. Graham gave the receiver and extra little oomph.
4. With the injuries come opportunities for other players. Defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao has had a nice camp taking most of Jernigan's reps with the first unit. With Ertz and Rodgers out Dallas Goedert, Billy Brown and Joshua Perkins have shared the load at tight end. The Eagles are unlikely to keep more than three tight ends on the 53-man roster, but Perkins has had some nice moments the last two days. Bryce Treggs has always been a strong practice player, and with Jeffery and Wallace sidelined, he has a chance to show up on film. He took a bubble screen at one point Monday and jetted up the field. He moves so fast, you can't help but pay notice. His climb to the roster is steep. The Eagles have four locks at receiver – Jeffery, Wallace, Nelson Agholorand Mack Hollins– and Gibson and Wheaton are likely fighting for the last spot. But Treggs could be a surprise addition. He's not a special teams standout, however, and that could hurt his chances.
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5. Jake Elliott was a perfect 5 for 5 on kicks. He was good from 33, 33, 38, 41, 38 and 33 yards. The second 38-yarder skimmed an upright. Unless my math is wrong, Elliott has connected on each of his 24 field goal (or extra point) tries this camp. He hasn't really stretched his leg yet. The longest attempt may have been 45 yards. Elliott's issue, if there is one, is that he isn't as automatic from 30-39 yards as he should be. He went 4 of 7 on field goals from that distance last season and missed five 33-yard extra points. It's an issue that dates to college. Give Elliott a kick over 40 yards, however, and he's near automatic. Last year he missed just one of 22 attempts, including during the postseason.