With tight end Brent Celek already ruled out of the upcoming Thursday night matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, the Eagles promoted Emil Igwenagu from the practice squad on Thursday and placed defensive tackle Mike Patterson on the reserve/non-football illness list. Patterson has been suffering from viral pneumonia.
The versatile Igwenagu, 6-2, 245, played both fullback and tight end for the Eagles throughout the preseason and he's been a member of the team's practice squad since Week 1. An All-Colonial Athletic Association performer during his time at Massachusetts, Igwenagu was signed by the Eagles as a priority undrafted free agent immediately following the 2012 NFL Draft. Igwenagu was a jack of all trades in college, where he played three offensive and one defensive position during his tenure.
With Celek out, Igwenagu and Clay Harbor will be the only tight ends active for the Eagles on Thursday night. Igwenagu has been filling roles at fullback and tight end throughout the season, and actually said he's probably spent a little more time in position meetings with the running backs than he has with the tight ends, though he's been working with tight ends more this week. An occasional linebacker in college, Igwenagu said that experience should serve him well on special teams.
"Definitely, making tackles and things like that are the characteristics of a linebacker, so that's something that I'll look to do if (I get called up)," he said Tuesday.
Igwenagu participated in the Senior Bowl during the run-up to last April's NFL Draft and he said that he had several contract offers once he went undrafted. But he chose the Eagles and he hasn't regretted it since.
"It just felt like a good fit," Igwenagu said. "I talked to coach Reid after the draft. (General manager Howie) Roseman gave me a call as well and I talked to a couple of the area scouts. I just felt like it was a good fit. Coach Reid was just telling me how he promoted open competition and I liked that.
"I'm happy with it. I guess I haven't really thought otherwise."
With Patterson out, the Eagles filled signed defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron, 6-2, 295, to the practice squad. An undrafted rookie out of Old Dominion, Cameron originally signed with the Chicago Bears after the NFL Draft but then moved on to the Cleveland Browns, where he spent time on their practice squad.
There is one remaining spot open on the practice squad.
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