Philadelphia Eagles: Shaun Prater

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Eagles let two young cornerbacks go as part of the roster shuffling made necessary by injuries at other positions. Naturally, with their depth depleted at corner, they have an injured starter at that position.

Bradley Fletcher hyperextended his right knee in the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He remained in the game, but experienced swelling Monday and Tuesday and did not take part in practice Tuesday and Wednesday.

Fletcher
With the long-tossing Eli Manning and the New York Giants coming up, that could be a bad sign.

“I’ll have myself together for Sunday,” said Fletcher, who missed the second game of the season with a concussion. “I feel like I’ll be fine.”

When the Eagles and Giants played three Sundays ago, Manning tested the Eagles’ revamped secondary with plenty of deep throws. He completed a 49-yard pass to Hakeem Nicks early, and hit Rueben Randle for a 26-yard touchdown.

“I think it comes with attempts,” Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis said. “Shots on goal. They threw 11 or 12 deep on us and you're going to hit a couple. Right now, we're averaging 45 passes against us a game, and we're glad that we're keeping all these deep ones off of us. But the Giants threw a lot deep and hit a couple.”

Fletcher, Cary Williams and nickel corner Brandon Boykin give the Eagles three solid cover guys. The only backup corner on the roster right now is Roc Carmichael, a special-teamer who has played only 11 defensive snaps. Safety Patrick Chung, who missed three of the last four games with a shoulder injury, can play nickel corner if needed.

The Eagles waived rookies Jordan Poyer and Shaun Prater in the past week when injuries forced them to create roster space for running back Matthew Tucker and linebacker Emmanuel Acho. Poyer was claimed by Cleveland, Prater by Minnesota.

“All the different injuries that happen to the team affect the bottom of the roster and who is on the practice squad and who is not,” Davis said. “Each week we go into it with a plan of saying, who can step in? Who has played corner? Who hasn't played corner? We train different guys in nickel positions because you always have an issue there that you have to be on top of. So it's a moving target. Every week it changes, and this week we have a couple things we're working on.”

Quick thoughts on Eagles' inactives

September, 29, 2013
9/29/13
3:35
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DENVER -- It wasn't surprising when the Philadelphia Eagles announced that safety Patrick Chung will be inactive for today's game against the Denver Broncos. Chung injured his shoulder against Kansas City and didn't practice all week. Rookie Earl Wolff will start in his place.

There was a little intrigue in the rest of the secondary. The Eagles are desperately trying to develop some depth with their young cornerbacks. Roc Carmichael, who was signed off the Texans' practice squad last week, will dress for the first time. Seventh-round pick Jordan Poyer is also in uniform. Both of them were inactive for the Chiefs game. Shaun Prater, who dressed last week, is back on the inactive list this week.

Carmichael and Poyer are likely to see most, even all, of their playing time on special teams. But there is always a chance they will be pressed into action due to injury. Poyer was forced to play against Washington and was immediately targeted by Robert Griffin III.

Offensive lineman Dennis Kelly is inactive for the fourth time. The first three weeks, he was unable to practice because he was recovering from back surgery. Kelly practiced this week, but is behind Allen Barbre, who backs up at both guard and tackle.

Matt Barkley, Matt Tobin, Damion Square and Emil Igwenagu are the other inactive Eagles.

Cornerback Champ Bailey (foot) in inactive for the Broncos. It will be interesting to see if that means Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is assigned to DeSean Jackson wherever he lines up.

With Carmichael, Eagles add depth at CB

September, 18, 2013
9/18/13
10:15
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PHILADELPHIA -- It is hard enough to fix a secondary in six months, as the Eagles have proven the hard way. It is impossible to fix one in the three days between Sunday's 33-30 loss to San Diego and Thursday night's matchup with Alex Smith and Dwayne Bowe of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Cornerback Roc Carmichael, signed Wednesday from the Houston Texans practice squad, isn't going to cover Bowe. He'll be inactive for this game. But the move adds to a pool of young defensive backs the Eagles hope will be able to contribute as the season goes on.

The Eagles will get starter Bradley Fletcher (concussion) back after one week. But Brandon Hughes is injured again. After breaking his hand in training camp, Hughes returned Sunday and pulled a hamstring. The Eagles placed him on short-term injured reserve to make room on the roster for Carmichael.

"We've had concerns since we got here with depth at the cornerback spot," head coach Chip Kelly said. "So that is a big concern for us overall. Didn't have Brandon in the first game, didn't have Fletch in the last game, and now Brandon's out again."

Carmichael, 25, was a fourth-round draft choice by the Texans in 2011. He played in six games last season, but was released at the end of training camp. There was a report the Eagles were interested in claiming him, but that never happened and he signed with Houston's practice squad.

He joins seventh-round pick Jordan Poyer and waiver-wire pickup Shaun Prater in development. Poyer was pressed into service in both games because of injury to other corners. He was immediately targeted for a touchdown pass by Washington's Robert Griffin III. Prater has been inactive in both games as he gets a crash course in Bill Davis' defensive playbook.

"He's coming along," Kelly said. "We picked him up after the cut down to 53, so I know those guys are working very hard with him. Shaun’s working very hard himself. So we're hoping to get a chance to get him acclimated. But it's also not fair to him to throw him in the field if he doesn't understand what we're doing and expect him to make a play on a Thursday night or Sunday and turn around and say we haven't had a chance to cover that. But Shaun's coming, and we hope to have a chance to get him involved here soon."

The Eagles have the second-worst pass defense in the NFL and were helpless against San Diego's Philip Rivers on Sunday. Over the next three weeks, they face Smith, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ waiver-wire spree didn’t really materialize Sunday. The team was awarded just one player, former Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Shaun Prater.

One possible reason for the relatively light activity: The Jacksonville Jaguars, who are two spots higher than the Eagles on waiver claims, were awarded a stunning seven players. That included two players, DE/LB Chris McCoy and TE Clay Harbor, who were released by the Eagles.

Prater is 5-foot-10, 190 pounds. A fifth-round pick out of Iowa last year, Prater spent his rookie season on injured reserve with patellar tendinitis. He is not expected to be a factor right away. The Eagles will roll with Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher (who played with Prater at Iowa) outside and Brandon Boykin in the slot.

But at least Prater can practice and play. To make room for him, the Eagles released Curtis Marsh, another member of their disastrous 2011 draft class. Marsh had surgery on his broken hand last month and was not available for the last two preseason games.

A couple of other roster-related notes:
  • The Eagles signed four players to their practice squad, all of whom were released over the weekend: OT Michael Bamiro, RB Matthew Tucker, WR Greg Salas and LB Travis Long. They have four more spots to fill.
  • Didn’t do too poorly on my projected 53-man roster, which was posted Friday morning. I had 48 players right. And where I was incorrect, I might have been right in a couple of spots where the Eagles turn out to be wrong.I had McCoy staying and Casey Matthews going. We’ll see how that one turns out.

    I had Salas and Russell Shepard among six wide receivers. The Eagles kept five, including Jeff Maehl. That’s two Oregon guys who made the team that I didn’t expect.

    I thought they’d keep 10 offensive linemen, including Matt Tennant. They went light there, cutting Tennant, and kept one more tight end than I expected: Emil Igwenagu.

    Finally, they kept two more DBs than I expected. One was Colt Anderson, who will play only on special teams. The other was Marsh, who was released today. So maybe I had 4.5 players wrong.
  • Roseman made two trades involving a running back for a linebacker. He got Emmanuel Acho, who made the team, for Dion Lewis, who is on IR in Cleveland. And he got Adrian Robinson, who was cut Friday, for Felix Jones, who made the Steelers roster.
  • The Eagles were off today and have some conditioning work scheduled for Monday. They’ll be off again Tuesday. The practice week for Monday night’s game at Washington begins in earnest on Wednesday.

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