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August 28, 2017

Eagles get important depth player back

Eagles NFL

Over the weekend, the Philadelphia Eagles got an important depth player back, when they somewhat surprisingly activated DT Beau Allen off of the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list. He had been recovering from a pectoral injury suffered in March of this year.

Allen may even play in the Eagles' fourth and final preseason game Thursday night against the New York Jets.

"I feel great (about the depth at DT), obviously, now with the addition of Beau, we activated him obviously," Doug Pederson said on Sunday. "I'm excited to watch him practice in the next few days. Again, taking it slow with him. He hasn't done anything, physically, for a while. I want to take it slow with him. But hope to get him some time Thursday night."

The Eagles have a high-quality starting duo in Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan, but sans Allen, the Eagles lack depth players with experience at the position. Had Allen not been ready for the start of the season, the three most likely defensive tackles to make the roster were second-year undrafted free agent Destiny Vaeao, Justin Hamilton, who is on his fourth team and still has no regular season experience, and sixth-round rookie Elijah Qualls.

"Destiny Vaeao has had a good camp," said defensive line coach Chris Wilson a week ago. "He played a lot during last week’s game against Buffalo, and showed that he can play anywhere between 40 percent, 50 percent of those snaps. He had a lot of production. So that’s the key point.

"And then you look at a guy like Justin Hamilton, who has been a little bit of a journeyman. I think that this has been a good camp for him, so I’ve been pleased.

"And then there’s our young draft pick, Elijah Qualls. He flashes, and so I’m excited to see where he goes these next couple of weeks."

Vaeao, Hamilton, and Qualls may have promise, but they have a combined 16 games of NFL experience, all from Vaeao.

 Player (Career games played)Tackles Sacks FF 
Destiny Vaeao (16 games) 15 
 Justin Hamilton (0 games)
 Elijah Qualls (0 games)

In his three seasons in the NFL, Allen has never missed a game, playing in 48 of them. While his stat line of 67 tackles and one career sack isn't eye-popping, Allen gives the Eagles a prototypical big-bodied run stopper, at 6'3, 327 pounds, which is something they would have otherwise lacked.

"I'm excited," Allen said. "I kinda had a plan and have been sticking to it all along, and here I am. I'm ready to play."

The Eagles' current depth at defensive tackle now looks something like this:

 DTFletcher Cox Destiny Vaeao Justin Hamilton Gabe Wright 
 DT Tim Jernigan Beau AllenElijah Qualls (R) Winston Craig (R) 

It looks a lot better with Allen in there than not.

On a side note, Allen recently tweeted that he was having difficulty getting matches on the dating app "Bumble."

"I'm actually dating somebody that I met on Bumble with that account, so it turns out that that's not such a bad profile to have," Allen said when asked whether he's had better luck after tweeting his profile page. "So I guess you can all tell your daughters and sisters that I'm taken."

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