With All-Pro fullback Leonard Weaver lost for the season due to a torn ACL, the Eagles have signed free agent fullback Owen Schmitt to a contract, according to head coach Andy Reid on his radio show Monday night. The Eagles also promoted practice squad tight end Garrett Mills to the active roster as center Jamaal Jackson was placed on the Injured Reserve list, along with Weaver, due to a torn triceps muscle.
A fifth-round pick of Seattle out of West Virginia in 2008, Schmitt spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons with the Seahawks before being released in September. It seems only fitting that the Eagles signed a fullback who had previously been with the Seahawks because that was the case with Weaver when the Eagles originally signed him in 2009.
In 30 career games, Schmitt has 12 career catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. He also has five carries for 21 yards. Reid said that the 6-2, 245-pound Schmitt is a big blocking fullback. It also should come as no surprise that Schmitt piqued the Eagles' interest because he set career highs in catches and receiving yards against Philadelphia in 2008.
Schmitt was released prior to the start of this season because new head coach Pete Carroll's offense doesn't need a true fullback.
Eagles fans will love Schmitt because during a game in 2009 he smashed his helmet against his head until it opened up a large gash. If you remember, former Eagles fullback Jon Ritchie had a calcium deposit on his head that was notorious for opening up during games.
Mills was signed to the Eagles practice squad on September 6. Mills is in his fourth NFL season, but since he was never active for more than eight games in one season he still had practice squad eligibility. In seven career games, all with the Vikings, Mills had seven catches for 91 yards. Signed as a tight end, Reid said that Mills also has the flexibility to play fullback.
Reid added that running back Mike Bell has the flexibility to move to fullback as well. Eldra Buckley replaced Weaver after his injury in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Packers.
Former Eagles draft pick Fenuki Tupou was signed, per Reid, to take Mills' spot on the practice squad. The guard was with the Eagles in training camp this year before being released at the final roster cutdown.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 5:55 p.m., September 13