It looked like the Eagles would be able to get their Saturday practice in on the NovaCare Complex's grass, but Mother Nature had other plans. The team moved practice to the inside bubble due to rain, but that didn't prevent the Eagles from getting solid work in on the eve of their scrimmage at Lincoln Financial Field. No pads following Friday's off day, but lots to dissect as Fran Duffy and Chris McPherson provide the highlights.
RB: Miles Sanders (lower body) remains sidelined.
WR: Quez Watkins was added to the injury report Saturday as day to day with an upper-body injury.
TE: Dallas Goedert had a planned day off.
OL: Andre Dillard will miss the 2020 season with a biceps injury, Head Coach Doug Pederson announced on Saturday. Dillard did watch practice from the sidelines. Lane Johnson is still day to day with a lower-body injury.
The first-team offensive line on Saturday was: Matt Pryor at left tackle, Isaac Seumalo at left guard, Jason Kelce at center, Jason Peters at right guard, and Jordan Mailata at right tackle.
DL: Genard Avery (lower body), Derek Barnett (lower body), Vinny Curry (lower body), and Javon Hargrave (upper body) were all sidelined. although Barnett did some work with the training staff. Joe Ostman returned after missing Thursday's practice.
DB: Sidney Jones took part in team drills for the first time since early in Training Camp. Marcus Epps also returned from a lower-body injury.
Quick hits from Saturday's practice
1. The first team period got underway with the starting offense against the backups on defense. Carson Wentz completed a couple of short passes, and running backs Boston Scott and Corey Clement chipped in on the ground. The highlight play came from undrafted rookie free agent defensive back Elijah Riley, who got a pass breakup down the field on a fade route. The former Army cornerback has been around the football a lot all camp.
2. When the first-team defense came on the field for a blitz session, linebacker Nathan Gerry registered a tackle for loss. He has been the primary three-down linebacker with Duke Riley and T.J. Edwards rotating alongside Gerry in the nickel. Josh Sweat beat Prince Tega Wanogho off the edge for a sack of Nate Sudfeld (Brandon Graham looped around and came up the middle on the play). Will Parks worked in as the dime linebacker. He's going to be a critical piece of the defense and special teams units, even if he's not a "starter."
3. The first-team offense's highlight play against the second-team defense in this period was wide receiver DeSean Jackson scoring a deep touchdown off a post route against rookie cornerback Michael Jacquet. It's so tough, as Jackson set Jacquet up to possibly run the corner only to turn at an angle and ignite his speed with plenty of space to provide Wentz to throw the ball. Corey Clement had a nice run up the middle out of a shotgun formation. Rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor got the ball on a jet sweep.
4. The starting defense took the field against the backups on offense, and we got a really explosive rep from Josh Sweat right off the jump. The young pass rusher flew into the backfield and wrapped up Elijah Holyfield for a stop behind the line on a run play on the first snap of the session. Later, Shareef Miller did the same thing on a run to the left side, exploding into the backfield and preventing a run from getting outside.
5. The team worked on some blitz packages in this period, and on one play, we got to see both Malik Jackson and Jalen Mills get home for what would likely have been a sack. Both players, in my eyes, have had great camps thus far, which is great to see with Jackson coming off his injury and Mills getting reacquainted with the safety position.
6. In the final team period, we got to see a little bit of the starters against each other. DeSean Jackson opened by beating Avonte Maddox on an intermediate out route to the right side for a first down. Malik Jackson once again got home for what would have been another sack. Will Parks came free on a blitz up the middle against the second-team offense. Parks also had really good coverage on DeSean Jackson as he nearly picked off a pass over the middle with Wentz under duress. K'Von Wallace and Davion Taylor helped force an incompletion to Noah Togiai. Wallace also had good coverage earlier in practice manned up on Togiai to prevent the pass from being completed.