Eagles to Cut Promising Young WR & TE Ahead of Week 1 Matchup vs Patriots

The Philadelphia Eagles are making a few minor roster moves heading into their Week 1 showdown against the New England Patriots, according to NFL insider Adam Caplan.

Per Caplan, the Eagles are releasing wide receiver Joseph Ngata and tight end Brady Russell from the practice squad to make room for linebacker Kyron Johnson and cornerback Tiawan Mullen. Johnson and Mullen were recently released themselves to make room for veteran linebacker Nicholas Morrow and offensive lineman Tyre Phillips.

This has been the status quo for general manager Howie Roseman and company, who have made a habit out of regularly upgrading the team’s roster and practice squad to keep both rife with talent.

Joseph Ngata Could Return to Practice Squad, Brady Russell Also a Possibility

Happy to see Joseph Ngata on the Eagles practice squad

Excited to see his growth after an impressive training camp pic.twitter.com/ckwo0RY6Jd

— Aidan Doc🧸 (@AidanDoc_) August 30, 2023

Ngata and Russell were both let go during final roster cuts and re-signed to Philly’s 16-player practice squad, and Ngata in particular feels like a strong candidate to return.

An undrafted free agent out of Clemson, Ngata had a standout training camp, but he had a few glaring errors in the preseason, including a costly fumble in the Eagles’ final preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts. The rookie wideout finished with six receptions on 14 targets for 75 yards. Quarterbacks had a 60.1% passer rating when targeting him (stats from PFF).

At 6’3″ and 217 pounds, Ngata has size, but his 4.54 40-yard dash time isn’t going to scare many defensive backs. He’s a raw yet intriguing prospect who can shed opposing DBs with his strength. His route running needs work, but that’s fixable with time.

Another UDFA signing for the Eagles, Russell, a former Colorado Buffalo, caught five passes on eight targets for 50 yards and a touchdown in his three preseason games (119.8 passer rating when targeted). He’s also a strong candidate to return.

Eagles Ready for Start of 2023 Season

While Mullen has not been with the team long, getting signed in August of 2023, Johnson was a sixth-round pick for Philadelphia last year, and his return to the PS isn’t a surprise.

It’s unclear which practice squad players (if any) Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni might elevate Week 1, but considering the team is extremely healthy, it’s possible no one does. One position to watch might be cornerback, as Philly’s two backup corners, Josh Jobe and Mario Goodrich, have missed time this week with an illness. Thus, Mullen has a shot at getting the call. Regardless, whoever gets elevated will undoubtedly understand his role.

The Eagles are still very healthy as they get ready for Week 1. Here’s their full injury report from Thursday:

Limited: Mario Goodrich (illness)
Full: Josh Jobe (illness)

— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) September 7, 2023

“There’s nothing worse than when you don’t know exactly what you’re supposed to do and what the job description is,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. “My whole point of roles is not everybody’s role is the same, but everybody’s role is important.”

Sirianni is also looking forward to showcasing what his team can do on both sides of the ball now that the games will officially count.

“I think any time there’s unknown, that’s an advantage,” the Eagles coach said. “So, I always think that’s why we were very vanilla in the preseason. We didn’t want to show a lot of different things that we plan on doing during the season.”

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