Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia Eagles’

The Washington Commanders face off against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, marking the first time quarterback Carson Wentz will play against his former team.

Ahead of the Week 3 reunion, Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts said he “learned a lot” from playing alongside Wentz in 2020.

“He has a great arm,” Hurts said Wednesday. “He’s a big guy and hard to tackle. He makes kind of crazy plays in the pocket, so I definitely took notice of that when I was a rookie.”

He added, “There’s definitely a mutual respect, and I wish him nothing but the best.”

The 24-year-old took over the starting job in Philadelphia in Week 13 of his rookie season, having replaced Wentz midway through the team’s Week 12 matchup against the Green Bay Packers.

When asked if Wentz was a helpful mentor from the sidelines after losing the starting job, Hurts said he’s “focused on the now.”

Hurts started 22 of a possible 23 games since. He had his best game as a pro in Week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings, throwing for 333 yards and one touchdown. He completed 83% of his passes and also ran in two touchdowns.

Jalen Hurts had 301 total yards in the first half in the breakout game of his young career, finishing with three total touchdowns as he led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 24-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night.

Trying to prove he is the franchise QB for the Eagles in his second year, Hurts looked downright unstoppable from the opening drive.

Hurts hit five receivers on 5-for-5 passing — highlighted by a 19-yard strike to A.J. Brown — and finished the drive himself with a 3-yard scoring run. In the opening win against Detroit, Hurts failed to complete a pass on five attempts and the Eagles turned the ball over on downs on the first drive of the game.

Turn the ball over on downs?

That seemed like just a rumor against the Vikings. The TD was just the liftoff for the 24-year-old Hurts throwing, running, imposing his will with all his available tools against a Vikings defense that could not solve him in his 21st career start. He finished with 333 yards passing and a touchdown, and 57 yards and two scores on the ground.

On the first play of the second quarter, Hurts connected on a wide-open Quez Watkins for a 53-yard TD and the 14-0 lead.

Slay, who picked off a hapless pass by Kirk Cousins in the third quarter, had called each of the Eagles’ trio of talented receivers Batman.

There was, Brown, the “swole” Batman who had five catches for 69 yards; DeVonta Smith was the “skinny” Batman who had seven for 80 yards; and Watkins was the “fast” Batman who had the burners on for the easy score (and 69 total yards receiving).

Why are they all Batman?

“No Robins. We’ve got no sidekicks,” Slay said.

Hurts had one more play for the highlight reel with just under two minutes left in the first half. Hurts rolled to his right and scampered toward the end zone. He dragged two defenders with him, lowered his head and muscled his way in for a 26-yard touchdown that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

Jake Elliott kicked a 38-yarder and the Eagles took a 24-7 lead into halftime.

In a Week 2 full of improbable comebacks, perhaps it wasn’t wise to totally count out the Vikings.

But Cousins and wide receiver Justin Jefferson — famously passed over by the Eagles in the 2020 draft — never got anything going of substance against the Eagles and maligned defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. Slay had his second interception of the game in the fourth quarter as the scoreboard soon flashed “Big Play Slay.”

Hurts had 50 yards rushing and 251 yards passing in the first half. Cousins finished the game 27 for 46 for 221 yards and three interceptions. Jefferson had six catches for 48 yards a week after he had 184 receiving yards and two TDs in a win against Green Bay.

PHILLY CELEBS

Bryce Harper (wearing an Eagles hat), James Harden (who was handed the ball by Slay after his first interception) and Bradley Cooper (wearing an Allen Iverson T-shirt) were among the jam-packed and fight-song singing crowd at the Eagles’ home opener.

Harden was pumped with his souvenir, posting an Instagram photo of his left hand holding the ball with the caption “Gimme That!” The Philadelphia 76ers star snapped selfies with fans before he left late in the game.

FAMILIAR RING

Dick Vermeil received his Hall of Fame ring at halftime. In his third season in Philadelphia, the coaching great led the Eagles to their first playoff appearance in 18 years. He guided the Eagles to their first Super Bowl appearance in the 1980 season only to lose to the Oakland Raiders, 27-10.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Vikings safety Harrison Smith was evaluated for a concussion.

UP NEXT

Vikings: Return home Sunday to play the Lions.

Eagles: Start a reunion tour Sunday when they head out to play the Washington Commanders and former QB Carson Wentz. The Eagles return home Sunday, Oct. 2 and play the Jacksonville Jaguars, led by coach Doug Pederson. Wentz and Pederson, of course, played pivotal roles in helping the Eagles win the Super Bowl after the 2017 season.

Still the offensive coordinator in Indianapolis, Nick Sirianni could not miss an opportunity to scout some of the loaded talent that littered the rosters of LSU and Clemson in the 2020 national championship game.

Trevor Lawrence and Joe Burrow were the can’t-miss QBs.

Sirianni, though, also kept an eye on LSU’s Justin Jefferson, the dynamic receiver who had nine catches for 106 yards and sent the Tigers to the national title.

As for Sirianni’s scouting report?

“Man, this Justin Jefferson guy is really, really good,” Sirianni said. “Like, he’s really quick. He’s got great hands. He runs really good routes. I remember it made the game a little more enjoyable for me.”

The enjoyment from his play might dim a bit Monday night if Sirianni — in his second season as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles — has to watch Jefferson — in his third season as a Pro Bowl receiver for the Minnesota Vikings — put up big numbers against a maligned Eagles defense.

After accumulating the most yards receiving in NFL history over a player’s first two seasons, Jefferson went wild in the opening win over the Green Bay Packers with 184 receiving yards and two TDs. He had a franchise-record 158 receiving yards in the first half.

“Incredibly fortunate to have a guy like Justin on our team,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said.

And thanks to the Eagles, incredibly lucky.

The Eagles needed a wide receiver in 2020 and Jefferson was still on the board when it was their turn to draft with the 21st pick. The Eagles passed on Jefferson and instead went with TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor. The Vikings had the 22nd pick and their reaction to Philadelphia’s Reagor pick was one of absolute glee — team officials laughing at their good fortune that Jefferson would be their pick.

Jefferson is a star attraction Monday night when the teams play at the Linc.

“He’s a different breed,” Eagles cornerback Darius Slay said. “He’s one of the best players on their team, so they’re going to find a way to get him the ball.”

Hey, Reagor will be there, too, only as an afterthought with, of all teams, the Vikings after he washed out with the Eagles. Reagor had 64 receptions for 695 yards and three touchdowns in two seasons with the Eagles. He’ll return to Philadelphia as the Vikings’ primary punt returner. He made two fair catches and returned one punt for 7 yards against the Packers.

Reagor didn’t work out for the Eagles. But the Eagles aren’t hurting at wideout.

DeVonta Smith (who somehow did not have a catch in the Eagles’ 38-35 win over Detroit) and A.J. Brown just might be the best pairing in franchise history. Brown caught 10 passes for 155 yards, tying his career high, in his Eagles debut on Sunday and quickly has become QB Jalen Hurts’ go-to option on the outside. The Eagles traded the No. 18 overall pick and a third-rounder to the Tennessee Titans on draft day for Brown, who then signed a four-year deal with $57 million guaranteed.

Smith set a club rookie record last season with 916 yards receiving, but went without a catch against the Lions while being targeted just four times. It’s likely Hurts will look to get Smith more involved against Minnesota.

“DeVonta is a premier player in this league, and did I think in a million years he wouldn’t have a catch? Absolutely not,” Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen said. “I did not think it was going to go that way. But that’s my job, I’ve got to get him the ball.”

If Hurts can hit Smith and Brown for big plays, look out. If not, the Vikings just might be laughing again at the Eagles expense.

NEW HOME FOR HICKS

Reagor isn’t the only former Eagles player visiting with the Vikings. Linebacker Jordan Hicks, who tied a career high with 14 tackles and had a sack and a forced fumble in his debut for Minnesota last week, played the first four years of his career for Philadelphia and was a starter on the Super Bowl championship team in the 2018 season.

Hicks played the last three years for Arizona before signing with the Vikings as a free agent to join stalwart Eric Kendricks in the middle of their revamped scheme under new defensive coordinator Ed Donatell.

READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, after losing the first nine starts of his career in Monday night games, has won two of those in a row — at Chicago in 2020 and 2021.

He’s 2-3 with the Vikings on Monday nights. Minnesota, 5-10 in its last 15 games on Monday night, last played at Philadelphia on Monday night on Sept. 20, 2004, a 27-16 loss.

PRETTY, PRETTY GOOD

Greg Joseph kicked a career-best 56-yard field goal in the opener for the Vikings and has missed only one FG (from 53 yards) over his last 12 games.

Not bad. But how about this? Harrison Smith got his 30th career interception last week against the Packers. That’s the most among active NFL safeties since he entered the league in 2012.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett suffered a torn ACL in the team’s win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, head coach Nick Sirianni confirmed Monday.

“He’ll be missed … I hate that for him and I hate that for this team. I can’t tell you how (highly) I think of Derek,” Sirianni said, according to Eliot Shorr-Parks of Sportsradio 94 WIP.

Barnett, 26, limped off the field in the third quarter of the Eagles’ season opener. He did not record a stat prior to his exit.

The Tennessee product has spent his entire career in Philadelphia since the franchise selected him in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

After recording a career-high 6.5 sacks in 2019, Barnett hasn’t been able to replicate that production. He tallied 26 tackles, seven tackles for loss, and two sacks last season.

The Eagles could look to Tarron Jackson to fill in following Barnett’s absence.

The XFL is giving it another go, again, and this time it will have Brian Westbrook in an executive role. 

The former Eagles running back was announced as the rebooted league’s Director of Player Engagement on Wednesday, serving as a liaison for its players in media, education, and business opportunities. 

“Brian is an incredibly important hire for the XFL as he will be a key driver behind the League’s commitment to holistic player development,” said XFL President Russ Brandon in a statement. “Following his impressive career in the NFL, Brian has done a phenomenal job building his brand while also committing himself to help other athletes reach their maximum potential on and off the field. We’re excited to have him on our team to create a new, unmatched opportunity for player success.”

Coming out of Villanova, Westbrook played for the Eagles from 2002-2009, becoming a fan favorite, the franchise’s all-time leader in yards from scrimmage, and arguably its greatest running back ever

After officially retiring in 2012, he’s had stints in broadcasting, got a business degree from the Wharton school over at the University of Pennsylvania, and recently published a children’s book, all while remaining a beloved figure around the city.

“I was the Director of College Scouting for the Philadelphia Eagles when he was drafted in 2002 and he remains one of my favorite players,” Marc Ross, the league’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations, said. “We’re thrilled to have him join the team. His experience across the industry leads to a deep understanding of the game and what it takes to succeed both on and off the field. We’re confident that Brian’s expertise will enhance the League as we create a new standard of player empowerment.”

The XFL, undergoing its second relaunch, is expected to begin play again in February 2023. 

In its original form, it lasted only a season in 2001 as an infamous combination of football and pro wrestling under now former WWE chairman Vince McMahon. 

In 2018, McMahon assembled a group to revive the league, but with new intentions of offering a purer and more experimental brand of football, one that did capture an audience when its season kicked off in early 2020 (shoutout to Temple alum and Roughnecks legend P.J. Walker), but was derailed into bankruptcy after just a few weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now the next iteration of the XFL will be headed by an ownership group led by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, with big-name NFL alumni like Hines Ward, Rod Woodson, Jim Haslett, and Wade Phillips on board to coach four of the league’s eight teams

Now B-West has joined the fold too. 


The Philadelphia Eagles are trading wide receiver Jalen Reagor to the Minnesota Vikings, the Vikings announced Wednesday.

Minnesota will acquire the third-year wideout in exchange for a 2023 seventh-round pick and a conditional 2024 selection; the conditional pick could be a fourth- or fifth-rounder depending on statistical achievements.

Reagor, 23, has struggled to find a role in the Eagles’ offense since they selected him 21st overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The TCU product recorded 31 receptions for 396 yards and one touchdown during his rookie campaign. He followed that with 33 receptions for 299 yards and two scores last season.

Reagor found himself buried behind A.J. BrownDeVonta SmithZach Pascal, and Quez Watkins on Philadelphia’s receiver depth chart.

Reagor will become teammates with two-time Pro Bowler Justin Jefferson two years after being drafted one spot ahead of him. Reagor, who could provide value in the return game, joins a Vikings receiving group that also features Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn.

Minnesota waived Ihmir Smith-Marsette after adding Reagor.

The New Orleans Saints have traded defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Eagles announced Tuesday.

New Orleans will receive the Eagles’ 2023 fifth-round pick and the lower of Philadelphia’s two 2024 sixth-rounders in exchange for Gardner-Johnson and a 2025 seventh-round selection.

The Saints opted to move Gardner-Johnson after extension talks broke down, sources told Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The 24-year-old is entering a contract season.

“I want to say: That was not an easy decision … We wouldn’t have done that if we didn’t feel extremely confident in the group we that we have,” Saints head coach Dennis Allen said.

Gardner-Johnson is expected to be a full-time safety with the Eagles after New Orleans used him in a versatile role.

Selected by the Saints in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Gardner-Johnson spent the first three seasons of his career with New Orleans. He started 31 games (with 12 further appearances), producing 161 total tackles, three interceptions, and 28 pass defenses.

The Eagles made room for Gardner-Johnson in their secondary by releasing Anthony Harris, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Harris, 30, started 14 games last year in his lone season with the NFC East club.

Joshua Dobbs ran for a touchdown and looked good directing Cleveland’s backups during a 21-20 loss to Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in an exhibition watched by both team’s starters, along with soon-to-be-suspended Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Dobbs scored on a 3-yard run in the first quarter and had his second strong performance of the preseason for the Browns (1-1), who are hoping he can be their No. 2 QB behind Jacoby Brissett while Watson serves an 11-game suspension.

Dobbs finished 14 of 20 for 141 yards before Josh Rosen replaced him in the third quarter. Dobbs, who signed with Cleveland in April, has been ahead of Rosen throughout camp and probably will stay there.

Eagles’ second-string QB Gardner Minshew was equally effective, leading Philadelphia’s offense on two long touchdown drives in the first half.

With starting QB Jalen Hurts in street clothes on Philly’s sideline, Minshew directed a 14-play opening drive and followed it with a 17-play march, both ending in short TD runs for the Eagles (1-1).

Minshew finished 14 of 17 for 142 yards before turning things over to Reid Sinnett in the second half.

Sinnett hooked up with rookie wide receiver Devon Allen on a 55-yard TD pass in the third quarter to put the Eagles ahead 21-20.

This was the Browns’ first game since learning Watson will be out until at least December after agreeing to the lengthy suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

On Thursday, the three-time Pro Bowler accepted a settlement with the league, ending months of speculation about his status. Watson will sit 11 games, pay a $5 million fine and undergo evaluation and counseling before returning.

Watson was accused of sexual assault and harassment by two dozen women during massage therapy appointments while he played for the Houston Texans.

In advance of the game, the Eagles and Browns practiced together for two days, allowing Philadelphia coach Nick Sirianni and Cleveland’s Kevin Stefanski to get valuable reps for their starters.

Minshew, who made two starts last season when Hurts was out with an ankle injury, went 4 of 4 for 43 yards on Philadelphia’s game-opening possession, which ended with Boston Scott barreling in from the 1.

LONG AND SHORT

Browns rookie kicker Cade York showed off his powerful right leg in his first game at FirstEnergy Stadium. The fourth-round draft pick from LSU converted on kicks from 50 and 19 yards, but he hit the right upright with a 55-yarder that had plenty of distance.

INJURIES

Eagles: CB Josiah Scott went out in the second quarter. LB Patrick Johnson, DT Marvin Wilson and LB Shaun Bradley suffered injuries in the third. The team did not specify their injuries or provide any updates.

Browns: It was a tough day for defensive backs as rookie Martin Emerson Jr. (arm), A.J. Green (head) and Herb Miller (leg) all went off. Emerson left on Philadelphia’s second series and didn’t return. The third-round draft pick has had a solid summer, returning an interception for a touchdown last week at Jacksonville.

UP NEXT

Eagles: Wrap up their preseason on Saturday in Miami.

Browns: Brissett and Cleveland’s starters will play Saturday against Chicago.

The Philadelphia Eagles are sending wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for defensive back Ugo Amadi, the Eagles announced Monday.

A second-round pick in 2019, Arcega-Whiteside will receive an opportunity for a fresh start after a disappointing stay in Philadelphia. The 25-year-old recorded 16 receptions for 290 yards with one touchdown over three seasons. He appeared in 16 games last season with two starts but only mustered 36 yards on two catches.

The Stanford product was working to become a tight end this offseason, but the Seahawks plan to use him as a receiver, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.

Arcega-Whiteside will compete for a role in a Seattle receiving group that’s headlined by DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Behind them are Freddie SwainDee Eskridge, and Marquise Goodwin, among others.

Amadi was rumored to be part of Seattle’s first batch of roster cuts before being traded to the Eagles. Teams are required to trim their rosters to 85 players by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

The defensive back made seven starts for the Seahawks in 2021, recording one interception and one forced fumble. He’s played in 47 games since being taken in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders stole the headlines Wednesday after saying Philly players feel “unstoppable” and part of “an All-Star team” this year.

Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown, the Eagles’ biggest addition in the offseason, reacted to Sanders’ comments Saturday, pumping the breaks on the remarks.

“(Sanders is) excited about what this team could be. We all are,” Brown tweeted. “But we’re not an All-Star team. We definitely could be with years to come. We have (to) strap up our pads and prove it every year and that’s what we plan to do!”

Sanders also suggested Thursday that his quotes were taken out of context by some outlets.

The Eagles acquired Brown from the Tennessee Titans in April as part of a blockbuster trade, adding the star pass-catcher to a promising offensive unit featuring quarterback Jalen Hurts, wide receiver DeVonta Smith, and tight end Dallas Goedert, among others. Philly also added to its defense, signing free-agent pass-rusher Haason Reddick and drafting defensive tackle Jordan Davis in the first round.

Philadelphia lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the wild card last season after finishing second in the NFC East with a 9-8 record. Philly’s offense ranked 12th in scoring in 2021, averaging 26.1 points per game.