Practice of the Eagles training camp: Andre Dillard, K’Von Wallace start early; preseason depth chart revealed | 5 takeaways from the 11th practice
PHILADELPHIA CREAM – The Eagles worked with shells and shorts on Tuesday during their 11th training camp practice at the NovaCare complex.
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The training served as the final training camp for the team before Thursday’s opening game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field.
PREVIOUS PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS: Practice 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | ten
Here are five observations from Tuesday’s practice:
Trio of injuries to start practice
The Eagles’ last training session before their first preseason game was eventful. Left tackle Andre Dillard went to the medical tent at the start of training and stayed there for about 10 minutes, which is longer than the typical visit. He limped out of the tent and entered the facility and did not return to practice.
Even a minor injury for Dillard could put a damper on left tackle competition with Jordan Mailata. As it stands, Mailata has performed much better in one camp. If Dillard is forced to miss a preseason or two and Mailata plays well, the former first-round pick will likely be moved to the bench in Week 1.
Dillard wasn’t the only notable name to leave training with an apparent injury. Safety K’Von Wallace, who worked with the first team defense as a replacement for Rodney McLeod (knee, PUP), walked with a coach inside the facility and did not return. Third-year security Marcus Epps will likely be asked to take his place.
Shortly before Wallace stepped inside, wide receiver Michael Walker, who was already suffering from a foot injury, was transported to the facility. He hopped on the cart and took a spin, which isn’t a good sign for his chances of playing in the preseason.
Eagles release initial preseason depth chart
The Eagles’ public relations department cultivated their first preseason depth chart on Tuesday. There were a few notable locations in the depth chart:
Here is what stands out:
– Dillard and Mailata have been listed as co-starters on the left tackle. Josh Sweat and Derek Barnett were listed as co-starters at the defensive end, while Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert received the same treatment on the tight wing.
– Greg Ward retained his position as the starting slot receiver with JJ Arcega-Whiteside positioning himself as his replacement. As NJ Advance Media has regularly noted, Arcega-Whiteside and former RB Adrian Killins have worked regularly in the slot machine. Killins is listed as the third slot receiver.
– DeVonta Smith and Jalen Reagor are listed as the starting outside wide receivers and Travis Fulgham and Quez Watkins are listed as their immediate saves, respectively. As NJ Advance Media projected in our latest 53-man roster prediction, the top six WRs (Smith, Reagor, Ward, Fulgham, Watkins and Arcega-Whiteside), barring injury, should be on the squad.
– While third-round lineman Milton Williams played a defensive side, he’s listed as the three-way save technique behind Fletcher Cox. Hassan Ridgeway is the backup nose tackle behind Javon Hargrave.
– The starting linebackers are Alex Singleton (WILL), Eric Wilson (MIKE) and Genard Avery (SAM). The second team linebackers are Davion Taylor (WILL), TJ Edwards (MIKE) and Joe Ostman (SAM). Avery is currently out, so Ostman could start on Thursday.
– Darius Slay, Steve Nelson and Avonte Maddox (nickel) are the starting cornerbacks. Zech McPhearson, Michael Jacquet and Josiah Scott (nickel) are the substitutes.
– The starting kick returner is Watkins and the starting kick returner is Reagor.
Hurts and ends tight
As the camp approached, there was some internal concern about Jalen Hurts’ ability to consistently target tight ends. Due to Hurts’ (6-1) limited height at position, tight ends could get lost in the way of the trenches. Hurts allayed those concerns – at least in training camp – as he regularly targets Goedert and Ertz.
Hurts had a strong 11-11 day, with most of his success coming from assists to Ertz and Goedert. During one spell, Hurts connected with Goedert twice in the middle for 15 to 20 yards. Hurts also targeted Ertz on a few intermediate throws.
With the large receptors facing injury and inexperience, Hurts’ targeting of tight extremities and their overall chemistry is worth watching.
According to Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, Hurts will start the preseason game against the Steelers with first-team offense, but it’s unclear how much he’ll actually play in the game.
Ryan Kerrigan undergoes surgery
Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan opted to have thumb surgery this week. Kerrigan injured his hand during the first week of training and has been in limited use since then. According to the team, Kerrigan is expected to miss 7-10 days as he recovers from the procedure.
Kerrigan shouldn’t miss any regular season time. He will be a pass carrier and linebacker for the Eagles.
The Eagles face several injuries heading into the preseason game with the Steelers.
Good news, left guard Isaac Seumalo (hamstring) has returned to individual work after missing the first 10 camp practices. Right guard Brandon Brooks (hamstring) also continued to work with limited capacity. Neither player is expected to miss Week 1.
Safety Grayland Arnold (hamstrings), linebacker Genard Avery (groin), tight end Jason Croom (knee) and cornerback Craig James (foot) have been listed day to day. James, who was new to the sidelines, was seen wearing a walking boot.
Wide receivers John Hightower (groin) and DeVonta Smith (knee), linebackers JaCoby Stevens (hamstrings) and Davion Taylor (calf) and offensive tackle Casey Tucker (biceps) remained out of practice. They are all listed from week to week.
QB RATINGS: Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | ten
– Wide wide receiver Andre Patton made an impressive diving catch to the touchline in 11-11 drills.
– RB Kenny Gainwell has been used a lot on screens and controls with second and third team offense lately.
– Blake Countess, the recently resigned security, wore No.36 in training. It’s his Fourth with the team that drafted him in 2016.
– Slay and Nelson, the two starting outside cornerbacks, both had impressive pass breakups in 11-on-11 drills. Slay snapped a pass from Hurts to Reagor in the middle. Nelson snapped a similar pass from Hurts to Fulgham. After training, LB TJ Edwards said he believes Nelson is going to stand out this season.
– Physical play alert: In an 11v11 repeat, RB Kerryon Johnson moved from one side of the backfield to another after the ball was broken and was pierced in the chest by DE Derek Barnett. Barnett hit Johnson so hard he had to remove his helmet and breathe deeply behind the attacking squad after the game.
– DE rookie JaQuan Bailey detonated an RPO attempt by third string QB Nick Mullens in 11v11 drills.
– The Eagles will be hosting a private tour on Wednesday that will not be open to media. NJ Advance Media will have full coverage of Thursday’s preseason opener against the Steelers on Additional eagles (Join FREE for two weeks now) and NJ.com.
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