On a busy Monday as the Eagles regrouped after their loss in Las Vegas and turned their attention toward Detroit, the team also made some roster moves and Head Coach Nick Sirianni talked in his weekly press conference about his approach moving forward. To get you caught up, the Eagles made two different transactions that mostly impact the quarterback room and add to their impressive 2022 NFL Draft capital. Here is what went down, with some analysis ...
1. First, the Eagles released long snapper Rick Lovato, a Pro Bowl selection in the 2019 season, and claimed quarterback Reid Sinnett off of waivers from Miami. The 24-year-old Sinnett became a fan favorite in Miami after some impressive play in the preseason. He was released by Miami on Saturday and claimed by the Eagles on Monday. So, the Eagles added a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder who has some skills after a terrific senior season at the University of San Diego, where he threw 32 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions, completing 66.9 percent of his passes, and becoming a finalist for the Walter Payton Award. Lovato is expected to return to the Eagles later this week.
2. The Eagles then traded quarterback Joe Flacco to the New York Jets, who lost their starting quarterback, 2021 No. 2 overall draft pick Zach Wilson, in Sunday's game against New England to a knee injury that will reportedly keep him sidelined for at least a few weeks. The Flacco trade reportedly brings the Eagles a conditional sixth-round draft pick that can be improved to a fifth-round pick based on Flacco's playing time. Flacco played for the Jets in 2020, starting four games and completing 55.2 percent of his passes with 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
3. Most important in that trade, the Eagles turned a one-year unrestricted free agent in Flacco into a 2022 NFL Draft pick, giving the team 11 total draft picks in next spring's draft. The NFL trade deadline is on November 2 at 4 PM.
4. As far as the quarterback room goes, Sirianni emphatically stated, when asked, that Jalen Hurts would remain the starter and that Gardner Minshew, acquired in a September trade when teams reduced their rosters to 53 players, would bump up to the No. 2 spot behind Hurts. "I really like Gardner and I think he's a really good backup," Sirianni said. "I've got a ton of faith in Jalen and he will be our starter."
5. From a team injury standpoint, Sirianni said that running back Miles Sanders, who left Sunday's game in Las Vegas with an ankle injury, was "week to week" and that it "would be a stretch" to have him back for Sunday's game at Detroit. The Eagles will go with Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott and could promote Jordan Howard from the practice squad.
6. Sirianni was asked about what kind of message he can send to his team at 2-5, and the truth is it hasn't changed. Sirianni has said this in the past: He will double down on what he knows to be true – his five pillars for a franchise that include connection, competition, accountability, football IQ, and fundamentals – and move ahead: "Obviously, losing a game is never acceptable. We're always going to go through and correct a game the same way regardless of whether we're 5-2 or 2-5. That's the message of 'Hey, let's get this thing right. Let's get these corrections made.' That's all this is ever about – getting better as a team. We've talked about accountability a lot. Accountability is not just about making corrections. It's also about pointing out when things are right as well. It goes both ways there. You want a standard set. When the standard is met, you get excited about it. When the standard isn't met, you make the corrections. We're just business as usual right there."
7. With the defense, Sirianni said "we'll talk through it" as the Eagles look to "get the ship righted." Sirianni said he understood the frustration expressed by defensive tackle Fletcher Cox in his postgame press conference following the loss to the Raiders and that "we're all frustrated." Sirianni said that he and Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon have talked about "mixing a little bit more man to man (coverage) in there" and "getting a little bit more aggressive with our man (coverage)" to challenge opposing quarterbacks.
8. Talking about opening the second half of Sunday's game with an onside kick, Sirianni said the team liked the look Las Vegas gave the kickoff team and the intention was to "steal a possession" by pooching the Jake Elliott kickoff in the gap between the Eagles' coverage team and a retreating Raiders return team. "It didn't work this time but I've got to stay true to what we watched on tape and I felt good about it at the time."