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BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - AUGUST 12: Running back D'Andre Swift #0 of the Philadelphia Eagles takes a handoff from quarterback quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 against the Baltimore Ravens during a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 12, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Pre-Season is almost over. The Eagles have one more game vs the Colts this Thursday. And then by next Tuesday at 4 pm, rosters have to be cut down to 53 men. So by this time next week, we will have a very good idea of who won every roster battle for the Eagles. 

Coming into camp, there were not many real battles going on. At least not compared to the average team. While they lost a lot of guys this offseason, they also kept more than many realize. All of the starters on offense returned besides Miles Sanders and Isaac Seumalo. All 3 corners were back. Most of the D-Line besides Javon Hargrave came back. Most of the 53-man roster was set, with just a few openings for guys on the bubble.   

But there were several key battles to watch at the start of camp. Who would be the starting Right Guard? Which RB would grab the role as the lead back? Would the UDFA Ty Zentner replace Arryn Siposs at Punter? Could Quez Watkin’s job as the slot WR be in danger? Who would be the first cornerback off the bench? These were the types of roster battles going on for the Eagles. 

Several weeks later, we have the answer to most of those questions. Some of them turned out to never be battles at all. Others have already seen some of the competitors cut or replaced. And other battles now feature guys we were not even considering at the start of camp.  

So now that we are at the end, and cut-down day will almost be here, it feels like a good time to revisit these battles. Have winners already emerged? Could some of these battles continue into the season?

Here is the update on each roster battle from the start of Training Camp:

  • Safety

    Entering camp, we assumed it was a 3-way battle for the two safety spots between Reed Blankenship, Terrell Edmunds, and Sydney Brown. Blankenship quickly established himself in one of those spots. To the point that we have yet to see him in the pre-season games because they trust him that much. So that is one Safety spot taken care of. The question is who will grab the other? Before camp, we would have assumed it would be either Brown or Edmunds. 

    Instead, and somewhat surprisingly, it has been a 3-way race for that second spot. Forgotten after a few years of underwhelming play, K’Von Wallace has come on strong to make a case to be the second starter. So it is between him, Brown, and Edmunds now to start alongside Blankenship. And when Tim McManus joined us last week, he said he could see it being Wallace in that spot. But he also said it could be Brown getting more and more time as the season goes on.  

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 29: Reed Blankenship #32 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after recovering a fumble against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 29, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

  • Linebacker

    Nakobe Dean has held onto the starting spot he had coming into camp. The same cannot be said about Nicholas Morrow. Not because he has looked bad in camp, he has actually looked decent. But because the Eagles added Zach Cunningham and Myles Jack. Plus Christian Elliss has surprised people by making a strong case for the job. 

    Jack is already out after he retired a week after joining the team. He saw the writing on the wall that he was falling further and further back on the depth chart. But Cunningham looked great in both games and is now getting most of the first-team reps. It looks like Cunningham is running away with it, and Christin Elliss may be behind him. For Morrow to make the squad, it might have to be by convincing the Eagles to keep an extra linebacker. 

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - AUGUST 17: Nakobe Dean #17 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts against the Cleveland Browns in the first half of the preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field on August 17, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

  • Running Back

    There was no question as to which 4 guys would make the roster for the Eagles. We knew it would be D’Andre Swift, Rashaad Penny, Kenny Gainwell, and Boston Scott. The question is who would take the reins as the lead back? 

    It was never going to be Scott. He is great as a depth piece. But is not quite lead-back material. The battle was mostly between Gainwell and Swift. Gainwell took over for Sanders as the guy getting the most touches in the playoffs. But Swift coming in gave them a more dynamic back who could contribute in the passing game, unlike anyone they had last year. 

    Swift has probably flashed the most so far this Pre-Season. But don’t expect it to be like last year where Miles Sanders was by far the most used back most of the season. There should be a good mix of Swift and Gainwell, with Penny getting in there as well. If someone has the hot hand, they will ride them more. But from what we have seen in camp, it does not feel like anyone of them are set to get lead-back type usage.  

    GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 12: Kenneth Gainwell #14 of the Philadelphia Eagles carries the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.

    (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

     

  • Punter

    This is one battle that has officially been resolved. Ty Zenter was cut, leaving Arryn Siposs as the only Punter left on the roster, for now. But even though he beat Zentner, that does not mean he is the Eagles’ punter. His competition now is every punter who gets cut in the next week. Because even if he was better than Zentner, Siposs has still been bad himself.  

    Arryn Siposs #8 of the Philadelphia Eagles warms up prior to playing the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.

    (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

  • Right Guard

    We assumed this would be a battle between Cam Jurgens and Tyler Steen. But it never really was. Cam Jurgens was treated as the starter from the jump. He got all the first-team reps. And in the games, he sat on the bench alongside the 4 other Offensive Line starters. Steen to his credit has looked great in camp. But he never really had a job to win. It was always going to be Jurgens’ job unless he showed up and looked incapable of playing Guard. And he has looked great to this point. So he will be the RG this season. 

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 29: Cam Jurgens #51 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 in the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 29, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

  • Backup Cornerback

    We know who the starters at CB are. Darius Slay, James Bradberry, and Avonte Maddox. No one was going to supplant any of those 3. But there was a question of who would be the first corner off the bench in case of an injury. Would it be the rookie Kelee Ringo? The former 2nd round pick Greedy Williams? No on both fronts. Ringo has struggled a bit, and Williams has already been cut.  

    Instead, second-year UDFA Josh Jobe has run away with that job. They had him battling with AJ Brown in the open practice. And while Brown got his, Jobe was doing a great job keeping up with him. He has been playing with the first team anytime Bradberry or Slay couldn’t go. Which tells us everything we need to know. Jobe will be the go-to guy on the outside anytime there is an injury.

    What will be interesting is who the backup in the slot will be. That was going to be Zech McPherson, but he is out for the year. Maybe opening up a role for Mario Goodrich.  

    GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 12: Josh Jobe #28 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts after Harrison Butker #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs missed a field goal during the first quarter in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona.

    (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • Slot WR

    Last year, Quez Watkins disappointed in the slot WR role. There were too many bad drops, and mistakes in key moments. And the production as not there to make up for it. So in the offseason, the Eagles brought in Olamide Zaccheaus. Quez did not take kindly to it, or to Eagles fans saying they needed an upgrade over himself.  

    But instead of moping, or forcing his way out, Quez did what you should do when challenged. Play better, and prove your value. Injuries have kept him out of both pre-Season games, but in camp practices, he apparently was playing very well. Enough to maybe keep his role as the starting Slot WR. 

    He still may get less targets than last year though, just because Zaccheaus is good enough to demand more playing time than Zach Pascal got last year. But at the very least, it feels like Watkins has kept his role.  

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 04: Quez Watkins #16 of the Philadelphia Eagles carries the ball against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field on December 04, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

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