The way it usually works is that the first wave of player cuts on the way to a 53-man roster draw nary a ripple of interest. These are usually players who had very little chance of making the team and, in fact, were the players from 81 to 90 on a Training Camp roster (or 71-80 this year).
In other words, no surprises.
When the Eagles announced their first 12 roster cuts on Thursday, three names raised eyebrows …
• Running back Elijah Holyfield
• Running back Adrian Killins
• Running back Michael Warren
All three were heavily involved in Training Camp and seemed to make the most of their opportunities. All three have been waived, leaving the Eagles with three running backs on the current roster – Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and Corey Clement.
What does it mean? It means that we are less than 48 hours from the 4 PM 53-man roster deadline and anything can happen. And everything usually does.
The Eagles are going to make sure they are well stocked at running back both on the active roster and on the practice squad (up to 17 players for the Eagles). Going into a season with three running backs? We'll see if that is truly the case. One of the big questions entering Training Camp was whether the Eagles would add a veteran back to a young room, and they haven't done so. Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs Coach Duce Staley has spoken highly of his room for the players' work effort, their maturity, and their talent, the three players waived on Thursday included.
At the moment, the Eagles are going with Sanders, who hasn't practiced in weeks because of a lower-body injury; Scott, the versatile and on-the-rise back; and Clement, who is back in great shape and showing signs of returning to full form after battling injuries the last two seasons.
Three backs heading into the opener?
No doubt things are moving quickly in Howie Roseman's NovaCare Complex office, down the hall from Doug Pederson. The two are no doubt conferring, along with Vice President of Player Personnel Andy Weidl, on how best to navigate this 53-man roster, given so many injuries that are lingering, along with the evaluation of some players who haven't played a snap of regular-season NFL football.
This is a chaotic time for every team, so maybe it's best not to read too much into this first wave of names. What does it really mean? It means that the roster is just now starting to take shape and it will continue to be crafted well into the season.
Anyway, at first glance there is something about the first dozen names that makes you say "mmmmmmmm." Hang on to your seats, because in his most unusual Training Camp, there is a whole lot more to come as the Eagles get down to 53 and put together a practice squad and get the roster ready for the 2020 regular season.