October 6, 2023   3 MIN READ

Ready For Roby?

Birds "Feel Good" About New Slot CB's Availability Vs. Rams


The inside passing game matchup between the Eagles and Rams is one of the key storylines going into Sunday’s Week 5 showdown between the two teams at Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles.

The Eagles, who struggled at times against the Commanders last Sunday against specific bunch formations and with communication in their patchwork secondary, could potentially have newcomer Bradley Roby play the slot Sunday against the Rams, which would allow James Bradberry to return to his natural outside corner slot.

Bradley Roby

GETTY IMAGES: The Eagles are hoping new CB Bradley Roby can be a slot savior for them with Avonte Maddox out indefinitely.

The Eagles signed Roby, a veteran who has played nickel and outside, to the practice squad on Wednesday. Roby was with the Saints last year and was released after camp.

“We feel like he’s done a nice job getting to know his teammates, getting to know the defense and we feel good where he is right now,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said Friday, without officially committing to play the nine-year veteran corner who won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 2015.

“I know he’s been working out, but it’s still different when you’re out there playing football…but we feel really good about where he is and we’re really happy – again – really happy with him.”

The team would have to use one of its elevations to make Roby active from the practice squad, but the Eagles really could use help with their interior coverage given the emphasis from the Rams’ offense on interior mismatches.

Not only has Rams rookie record-setting rookie wideout Puka Nacua done plenty of damage from motion and from inside alignments, but the Rams are also expected to play Cooper Kupp, per The Athletic.

Kupp, who led the NFL in 2021 in receptions and receiving yards, started the season on Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury. Kupp is also known for moving around to different alignments and causing interior mismatches in head coach Sean McVay’s offense.

The Eagles, who were a top-five defense in 2022, rank 16th in total defense through four weeks and 27th in passing yards allowed.

The Week 2 loss of slot cornerback Avonte Maddox indefinitely from a torn pec has caused all sorts of personnel issues for the Eagles, who have also used safeties Justin Evans and Sydney Brown in the slot, but both safeties were injured for last Sunday’s game against the Commanders, forcing the Eagles to convert Bradberry into a full-time nickelback.

“Looks like Cooper Kupp will be up, right?” Sirianni said. “That’s the way it’s shaping up, and he’s been an unbelievable player.”

– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.

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