August 28, 2023   4 MIN READ

Surprises In Store?

ITB: Which Birds Will Make 53, Which Won't?


With the preseason concluded, the time has come for the Philadelphia Eagles to make important roster decisions as they cut down to their initial 53-man roster.

On the latest episode of “Inside The Birds,” Andrew DiCecco joined Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher to discuss which names could find themselves on the team’s 53. 

Ben VanSumeren

Did Ben VanSumeren show enough in the preseason to make the 53?

Britain Covey

Geoff Mosher: “He might be on the initial 53, but he hasn’t proved anything this camp. I don’t know if he is going to be that fifth receiver…I think for a couple of weeks you can keep four receivers, but have a loaded practice squad of receivers just for three weeks and elevate a guy you feel comfortable with returning punts.”

Adam Caplan: “If he makes it, it will be as a punt returner/backup slot…it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they waived Covey. He would be a good practice squad candidate, but he also needs to get healthy.”

Andrew DiCecco: “I have them just keeping four. Britain Covey is a guy you can get through waivers…maybe if Covey showed something more as a receiver, you could make the case for him.”

Grant Calcaterra

Caplan: “It would not surprise me at all if they waived him. I talked to teams that have watched his tape, he is so-so, is a willing blocker, explosive in the short area but doesn’t have down the seam speed. He is okay. The chances are better that he makes it than he won’t, but it would not surprise me if he is passed through waivers.”

Sua Opeta

Mosher: “Sua Opeta has really had a nice camp. He is a guy that has improved, can play both sides now. If we are just taking interior line and not worrying about whether a guy can snap the ball or not, then Opeta is a very obvious ninth [lineman] because Josh Sills just did not compete at camp the way they wanted him to…I was told that Opeta was one of the most improved players for the Eagles this year”

Caplan: “When they first signed him as an undrafted free agent, he was only comfortable on one side, but over time he started to learn how to play the other side and be more comfortable. And that’s the key: you cannot be in one position.”

Ben VanSumeren

DiCecco: “There is no doubt that he flashed, but there is also no doubt that he is an immensely raw player. I think he is a quintessential player that you get through waivers, put him on the practice squad, elevate him for a few games to give you a boost on special teams.”

Caplan: “I’m going to keep him on there. In the first two games, he showed up on special teams. If two guys never got hurt, Shaun Bradley in particular, I would be over VanSumeren. But being that Zech McPhearson is out for the season along with Shaun Bradley, they need someone who can run and this guy can. They are really down on special temams now in coverage.”

Eli Ricks/Mario Goodrich

DiCecco: “If you are basing this purely off practice, Goodrich has been the better player compared to Ricks. But when the lights came on, Ricks was making some big plays. I thought he really showed well against the Colts starting unit. You can honestly make the case in going heavy with seven corners if you really fear losing any of them through waivers.”

Mosher: “Goodrich as a backup slot had a good showing. While Ricks played well against the Colts, he struggled against the Browns. Josiah Scott becomes my X-factor. There is no way I am losing Ricks to keep a backup slot. I’m keeping Ricks, waiving Goodrich. If Goodrich gets claimed, which wouldn’t surprise me, then I have Josiah Scott to come to my practice squad and be my backup nickel.”

– Benjamin Paul is a staff writer for

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