August 10, 2015
A week ago, the Eagles were very deep and talented at the slot corner position. Suddenly it's a serious concern. The Eagles traded slot corner Brandon Boykin to the Steelers for a fifth-round pick (that can become a fourth-round pick), partly because they really liked rookie sixth-round draft pick JaCorey Shepherd, who was the leader in the clubhouse to take Boykin's job.
However, Shepherd was injured during Sunday's practice when he collided with running back Darren Sproles. After undergoing an MRI this morning, it was revealed that Shepherd is done for the season with an ACL tear.
Here's video taken by a fan who attended practice:
"I saw him, and I kind of braced myself for (contact)," said Sproles after that practice. "I don't know if his foot got caught or what."
The Eagles will now have to figure out how to go forward in the slot. Some thoughts:
• Walter Thurmond has experience in the slot, but he's locked in at safety at this point. The Eagles aren't going to move him back to corner.
• Rookie second-round pick Eric Rowe isn't moving inside. His skill set does not fit the slot. The Eagles want him on the outside, and that's where he'll stay.
• Nolan Carroll could make some sense in the slot, but the team is likely to continue to let him battle it out with Rowe on the outside.
• The Eagles are more likely to let players such as Jaylen Watkins, E.J. Biggers, Denzel Rice, and Randall Evans compete for the slot corner spot.
Shepherd was "just" a sixth-round pick, but this injury stings. The team really liked him, and it comes at a time just after they traded a proven player at the same position.
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