Avery Carted Off Practice Field
(UPDATED: 5 p.m.) The Eagles will wait to find out if they suffered the first major injury of training camp after defensive end Genard Avery was carted off the field during Wednesday's practice. Avery, who had returned from an illness that kept him out of practice, went down about 45 minutes into the padded session with an apparent knee injury, per ITB's Adam Caplan, who was at NovaCare to observe practice. The Eagles were in the middle of team drills at the time.
Around 5 p.m., Caplan tweeted that the Eagles are awaiting the results of an MRI.
Just the fact that Avery is undergoing an MRI suggests that the Eagles will be without another pass rusher for an indefinite period. Derek Barnett has already been out most of camp with a lower-body injury.
With time winding down before the end of training camp, this figured to be a critical week for Avery and other backup pass rushers battling for the final spot or two at defensive end. Brandon Graham, Barnett, Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat have essentially cemented their spots on the 53-man roster. Avery, acquired last year before the trade deadline for a fourth-round pick, was brought in because of his unique speed around the edge and twitchiness. Although undersized at 6 feet, 250 pounds, Avery has a burst of explosion that other Eagles pass rushers can't match. The Browns drafted Avery out of Memphis in the fifth round. He recorded 4 1/2 sacks as a rookie. Competing with Avery to make the roster are second-year pro Shareef Miller, a fourth-round pick last year, along with Joe Ostman and 2020 seventh-round pick Casey Toohill. MIller reported to camp this year in better shape after not playing in any game last season. Ostman would have made the roster last year but tore his ACL in camp. The Eagles could keep six defensive ends to avoid cutting a prospect they like, but that's also a high number that would force them to go lighter at another position.
Positives for Alshon In his morning Zoom, Doug Pederson offered an optimistic outlook on Alshon Jeffery's recovery from foot surgery. Pederson said the veteran receiver is running on the ground and the Eagles hope to get him on the field "in the near future." Pederson has avoided putting any official timetable on Jeffery's return. Pederson said the team will have a better idea on Jeffery's status in a couple of weeks. Caplan has reported on Inside The Birds that he team isn't expecting Jeffery to start on the Injured Reserve/Return list. 'Here to listen'
Pederson was asked about the Lions cancelling their Tuesday practice in protest over the shooting of Jacob Blake and any impact that might have had on the Eagles. Pederson said the Eagles have, and continue to have, discussions about social justice issues and that life issues are more important than sports.
"You've got to put football aside. This is human life. These guys have a message. They have a platform. They have something that needs to be said. I'm here to listen." Rising prospects Pederson also had praise for undrafted rookie Adrian Killins, the Central Florida product who's practicing at running back and receiver. Pederson identified Killins as someone benefitting from extra reps with Miles Sanders sidelined, even without preseason games as a showcase. Also, read this story by InsideTheBirds.com's Andrew DiCecco on a rookie free agent who's overcome plenty of adversity to make a strong case for earning a spot on the 53-man roster. – Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the Inside the Birds podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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