Eagles Bring Back Taylor Hart
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - With Ron Brooks lost for the season with a ruptured right quadriceps tendon, the Eagles wasted little time in replacing the nickel corner on the roster.
It wasn’t the obvious move, however, as Philadelphia placed Brooks on injured reserve and brought back defensive tackle Taylor Hart, who was fresh off a short reunion with Chip Kelly in San Francisco.
Corner Aaron Grymes, meanwhile, was signed to the practice squad after passing a physical and offensive lineman Matt Rotheram was released to make room for the former CFL star, who made a strong run at a roster spot in the summer before injuring his shoulder while making an interception against Pittsburgh in the preseason.
“He’s going to have surgery here in the next few days, so we’re going to miss him, obviously,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said of Brooks, a free-agent signing from Buffalo who started five of the Eagles’ first six games, playing in the slot primarily, although also outside the numbers at times when Leodis McKelvin was on the shelf with a hamstring injury.
Malcolm Jenkins moved from his safety duties to take over the slot against the Vikings on Sunday after Brooks exited and Jaylen Watkins entered next to Rodney McLeod at safety.
“I thought Jaylen came in and played good, played well,” said Pederson. “He was in on a few plays around the quarterback a few times and a couple blitzes, and he's a guy that obviously now is going to have to increase his workload. But I think he stepped up and did a nice job.”
The addition of Hart, who was originally drafted by the Birds during the Kelly regime and was claimed on waivers from the 49ers, may indicate that the Eagles aren’t all that confident that Bennie Logan will be able to go against Dallas on Sunday night as the nose tackle continues to fight through a groin injury.
In other injury news left tackle Jason Peters missed 15 of the team’s 58 offensive snaps against Minnesota with a strained right biceps but Pederson claimed the veteran should be fine moving forward.
“(There was) nothing structurally or anything, no muscle tears or anything like that,” the coach said. ”He's just got a strain. He'll be fine. He'll be good for this week.”
Pederson also labeled special-teams contributor Kamu Grugier-Hill as week-to-week with a hamstring strain, while linebacker Mychal Kendricks (ribs), receiver Jordan Matthews (knee tendonitis), and McKelvin (hamstring) all came out of the Vikings game no worse for wear.
With Brooks now out of the mix, McKelvin’s health is paramount moving forward while undrafted rookie C.J. Smith, a teammate of Carson Wentz in college at North Dakota State, will likely dress on game days.
“With Leo (McKelvin) being healthy now gives you a little more depth, but we've got to continue to look at getting C.J. some more reps probably during the week to have a full complement of secondary help,” said Pederson.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen