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Eagles Make Curious Practice Squad Move

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles released C.J. Smith #37 from the practice squad. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) – The Eagles signed offensive tackle Victor Salako to the practice squad Tuesday, and released cornerback C.J. Smith, a day after head coach Doug Pederson said Smith could be in the mix as possible support for injured cornerback Ronald Darby.

Darby is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a dislocated ankle suffered in the season opener to Washington.

“Obviously, Rasul [Douglas] sitting there and C.J., obviously. But we’ll look at it, talk with [Defensive coordinator Jim] Schwartz in the next couple days and have a plan,” the coach said Monday when asked about the path forward without Darby for the foreseeable future. “If he can’t go, then possibly Rasul.”

When Darby went down early in the second quarter against the Redskins, Schwartz first kicked nickel back Patrick Robinson outside and let Malcolm Jenkins handle the slot work while Corey Graham rotated in at safety. Later, the DC put Robinson back at the nickel and let CB Jaylen Watkins handle the outside work in place of Darby.

Douglas, who was inactive for his first NFL game, will almost assuredly dress this weekend in Kansas City but it remains to be seen if Schwartz elevates him to a role on the base defense.

Salako, meanwhile, was with the Eagles this offseason, signing as an undrafted rookie out of Oklahoma State. The 6-foot-4, 320-pound tackle is back due to the groin injury suffered by Jason Peters against the Redskins.

Peters expects to play in Kansas City but may be limited in practice this week.

The only other tackles on the 53-man roster are Lane Johnson and Halapoulivaati Vaitai while Salako joins Dillon Gordon on the practice squad.

-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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