The Eagles moved quickly to fill another hole on the 53-man roster, signing cornerback/kick returner Gerard Lawson to replace Jorrick Calvin, who went on Injured Reserve a day earlier with a back injury. Lawson, 5 feet 10, 195 pounds, played in 20 games with Cleveland in 2008-2009 before his release in the summer of 2010.
Lawson's release reportedly had everything to do with an off-the-field incident when Lawson missed curfew with the Browns and was charged with DUI. He was out late after an intra-squad scrimmage in which Lawson returned two kickoffs for 50 yards. Lawson was cut by the Browns on August. 31 as the team reduced its roster.
Lawson most recently played for Hartford in the UFL, and had attracted the interest of the New York Jets, who reportedly were unwilling to sign the league's $150,000 release fee to secure Lawson's NFL rights. The UFL season is over, and the Eagles, in an emergency situation, added Lawson.
It is unclear at this point whether Lawson will return kickoffs on Sunday night against the Vikings. Lawson will practice with the Eagles later today.
He played collegiately at Oregon State, where he lettered for four seasons from 2004 to 2007. Lawson recorded 68 tackles, two interceptions, 1,463 kickoff return yards and a blocked punt and he had a 100-yard kickoff return in 2006 against Hawaii, tied for the longest kickoff return in OSU history.
Lawson wasn't drafted, and then he signed with the Browns and stayed there for two seasons. He was returned eight kickoffs for 115 yards and had one punt return for 4 yards in Cleveland. In the UFL, Lawson made an immediate impact for Hartford with an interception returned 41 yards for a touchdown in his first game and he also had 5 kickoff returns for 84 yards in the contest.
Lawson returned 23 kickoffs for 483 yards, a 21-yard average with a long of 43 yards in his time with Hartford.
-- Posted by Dave Spadaro, 8:24 a.m., December 24