Eagles Still Mulling Roster Move, Kelce Gets Vote of Confidence
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Josh Huff already has a new home in Central Florida but the Eagles have yet to fill his roster spot and coach Doug Pederson said the organization was in no hurry to do so.
Speaking at his weekly Wednesday morning press conference Pederson claimed that he and the coaching staff are still evaluating the possibilities but did mention two players from the practice squad who might be in line for promotion, wide receiver Paul Turner and cornerback Aaron Grymes.
“We got some guys we're evaluating on our practice squad – Paul Turner, Aaron Grymes. We've got some guys,” the coach said. “We don't have to make a move right now. There's no hurry.”
For this week at least, Grymes would seem like the more likely option because Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and high-powered Atlanta Falcons offense are looming at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
Both Leodis McKelvin, who is still struggling with a nagging hamstring injury, and Jalen Mills struggled mightily against the New York Giants last weekend while starting slot corner Ron Brooks is on injured reserve and done for the season with a torn quad tendon.
Grymes, a prototypical, undersized slot guy, made a strong run at the Eagles’ roster in training camp before injuring his shoulder while making an interception against Pittsburgh in the preseason. He was re-signed to the practice squad on Oct. 24 when deemed healthy.
Turner, on the other hand, became a fan favorite with a strong preseason, in which he hauled in 17 receptions for 165 yards. The emergence of Bryce Treggs against New York, however, somewhat alleviates the need for another body at WR.
FOUR PLAYERS MISS PRACTICE
The Eagles went indoors at a rainy NovaCare Complex Wednesday as preparations began in earnest for the NFC-South leading Falcons.
Four players were not able to participate at all: starting left guard Allen Barbre, special teams standout Kamu Grugier-Hill and defensive back Terrence Brooks are all dealing with hamstring issues, while tight end Brent Celek is down with a painful rib issue.
Barbre was still listed as week-to-week by Pederson while the coach said Celek should be able to play against Atlanta.
“Allen Barbre, again, with his hamstring. We're still on a weekly basis with him – [he] won't practice today,” the coach said. “Terrence Brooks also has the hamstring. He will not practice. Brent Celek, who as I mentioned on Monday has the rib, we're going to hold him today, but [he] should be good for the game. And then Kamu – same thing with his hamstring – we'll hold him from practice.”
KELCE GETS VOTE OF CONFIDENCE
A lot of votes were cast on Election Day in America but Pederson was a day late with a vote of confidence for his struggling center, Jason Kelce.
Kelce is currently graded by ProFootballFocus.com, as the 33rd best player at the position, ahead of only Cleveland’s Cameron Erving among those who have played enough to be rated.
The veteran, who is playing through a painful foot injury, also seems to be in the middle of an offensive miscue or two each and every week and it seems like opposing defensive coordinators have figured out how to deal with Kelce, put a big, strong interior presence right on his nose and beat him up in the phone booth.
Despite that Pederson stuck up for the leader of his offensive line.
“First of all, I don't think the foot has been an issue,” the coach said. “He's still playing at a high speed. He's obviously kind of the glue of that offensive line. He makes all the calls. He and Carson [Wentz] are on the same page.
“The last couple weeks, he's played well. As far as the size, he's probably not the biggest guy in the world, but he gets by with his smarts and athleticism. He's a very tough individual. These last couple weeks, he's really settled into playing that center spot.”
. -John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen