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July 28, 2021

Eagles training camp notes, Day 1: Actual football is back!

Eagles NFL
060321JalenHurts Matt Slocum/Eagles Pool photo

Eagles quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco.

Philadelphia Eagles 2021 training camp is underway, and Nick Sirianni actually held a spirited practice to kick things off, even if it was kinda short. Under Doug Pederson in 2020, the team started with an uneventful 10-10-10 practice. Let's get right to the notes.

• (Clears throat)... Injuries (via the team):

  1. LG Isaac Seumalo (hamstring), week-to-week
  2. CB Nate Meadors (hamstring), week-to-week
  3. WR Quez Watkins (still completing physical), day-to-day
  4. WR Greg Ward (non-COVID illness), day-to-day
  5. CB Shakial Taylor (lower body), day-to-day
  6. WR Jalen Reagor (lower body tightness), limited participant

Last year, we learned on Day 1 that Derek Barnett was week-to-week and Javon Hargrave was out for "multiple weeks" with injuries. The only previously unknown injury of significance this year is Seumalo, which feels like a win.

I have no idea what "still completing physical" means.

PUP/NFI lists: No surprises. Le'Raven Clark (Achilles) and Rodney McLeod (ACL) will start training camp on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, while Landon Dickerson (ACL) will start on NFI (non football injury), which is basically the same as PUP. We won't get into the nitty-gritty of the differences here. 

Reserve/COVID lists: LB Alex Singleton, S Andrew Adams, and DE Matt Leo

Vaccine news: Howie Roseman said post-practice that over 90 percent of the team has at least started the process of being vaccinated. A few of the players who spoke after practice — including Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Jalen Hurts — confirmed that they are vaccinated. Meanwhile, in Indianapolis:

If Wentz, who somehow has the 12th best MVP odds according to Pickswise, is not vaccinated, that's bad for the Eagles, who need him to play 75 percent of the snaps this season (or 70 percent plus the Colts making the playoffs).

• The first-team offense today:

  1. QB: Jalen Hurts
  2. RB: Miles Sanders
  3. WR: DeVonta Smith
  4. WR: Travis Fulgham
  5. WR (slot): J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (remember, there were three WRs out today)
  6. TE: Dallas Goedert
  7. LT: Andre Dillard (Jordan Mailata also mixed in, but it felt like Dillard got more reps)
  8. LG: Nate Herbig
  9. C: Jason Kelce
  10. RG: Brandon Brooks
  11. RT: Lane Johnson

• First-team defense:

  1. LDE: Brandon Graham
  2. LDT Fletcher Cox
  3. RDT: Javon Hargrave
  4. RDE: Josh Sweat (Derek Barnett also got first-team reps, but Sweat was out there with the 1's first)
  5. LB: Eric Wilson
  6. LB: Davion Taylor (Alex Singleton is out with COVID, as noted above, but interesting nevertheless)
  7. CB: Darius Slay
  8. S: Anthony Harris
  9. S: K'Von Wallace (McLeod is on PUP)
  10. CB: Steven Nelson (the Eagles wasted no time getting him right in there with the 1's)
  11. Slot CB: Avonte Maddox

It's noteworthy that a pair of former high picks in Andre Dillard and Davion Taylor initially got first team reps over players who are better than them (in my opinion, of course).

Zach Ertz practiced, and he even participated in 11-on-11's. The Eagles didn't hold him out from the more strenuous parts of practice for trade/preservation purposes. That's risky, given that if Ertz gets hurt, the team be on the hook for $8.5 million that they'd otherwise save. 

After practice, Roseman said that he believes that Ertz will be back on the team this season. I think we'll have a lot more on that in the morning.

Oh, and side note, Ertz has bleached blond hair this year.

• Rookie third-round pick Milton Williams was playing DE today. Cox said after practice that Williams is playing Graham's position, which is an interesting development. Williams played DE and DT in college, but the Eagles have always listed him at DT, since the draft. I think that's a good role for him. He can play DE on base downs, and slide inside on obvious passing downs.

Jonathan Gannon wasted no time showing different defensive looks. In a red zone drill, the Eagles were in a 3-4 alignment.

• Overall, Hurts and the offense struggled. The defense clearly won the day. K'Von Wallace and Josiah Scott both had nice plays in the end zone. Scott picked off Hurts on a play in which he won a contested catch against Kenny Gainwell, while Wallace had a near-INT of his own.

• The most interesting battles of the day were between DeVonta Smith and Darius Slay. When the ball went Smith's way, Slay was up to the challenge, breaking up two passes. But there were other times Smith got open and the ball didn't come his way. That'll be a summer-long matchup to watch.

• The highlight of the day came via huge 6'7, 249-pound QB-turned TE Tyree Jackson, who caught a ball in the middle of the field, and then absolutely trucked LB Rashad Smith. It didn't even look like Jackson tried to truck him. He just caught a pass and turned upfield, and when Smith came over and made contact, he got de-cleated. Easy prediction: Jackson is going to be a fan fave.

• We got our first look at Arryn Siposs. Yes, I timed his punts for hangtime:

  1. Didn't get my stopwatch out in time. It was a short semi-shankopotumous, though.
  2. 4.62
  3. 4.39 (way out of bounds)
  4. 4.73

Shaky start for him, but it was only Day 1.

More tomorrow! And here's our daily training camp podcast:

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