August 9, 2023   2 MIN READ

Back In Action

Camp Update: Birds LB Dean Back From Ankle Injury; DeVonta Smith Excused


Eagles second-year linebacker Nakobe Dean, whose recent absence from training camp because of an ankle injury helped trigger a flurry of personnel moves, was back on the field at the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday, three days before the team’s preseason opener.

Reporters observed Dean on the field and in pads as the Eagles practiced for the second straight day for just the second time since camp opened July 25.

Nakobe Dean

GETTY IMAGES: Eagles LB Nakobe Dean (ankle) returned to practice Wednesday, in a limited manner.

On the team’s injury report, Dean was listed as limited.

Also, per reporters, wide receiver DeVonta Smith is absent from practice for personal reasons.

Many changes have taken place at linebacker since Dean limped out of practice last Thursday with an ankle injury that Inside The Birds reported wasn’t too serious.

Since then, the team has released fourth-year linebacker Davion Taylor and signed street free-agent veterans Myles Jack and Zach Cunningham, both of whom stand a good chance to make the 53.

The Eagles have also deployed rookie edge rusher Nolan Smith, a first-round pick, at off-ball linebacker at times during camp.

Reporters on Wednesday also observed some one-linebacker formations – known as “big nickel” or dime – with six defensive backs on the field, either three corners and three safeties or four corners and two safeties – a scenario also discussed on the latest Inside The Birds podcast with Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher (link beow).

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

Listen to the latest “Inside The Birds” podcast featuring Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher:

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