The time has come to begin trimming the bulk of players into a well-cut roster. The Eagles cut three players on Tuesday to meet the mandatory 75-player limit. The roster moves included cutting Kevin Monangai, a Villanova product who sat as the 6th running back on the depth chart, waiving linebacker Emmanuel Acho due to a thumb injury, and placing rookie cornerback Jacorey Shepherd on season-ending injured reserve because of a torn ACL.
Along with the three players cut, the team also released 12 players on Sunday. Those released were:
CB Marc Anthony
S Brandan Bishop
OL Mike Coccia
OL Kevin Graf
DE Alfy Hill
WR Mike Johnson
WR GJ Kinne
LB Dasman McCullum
WR Josh Reese
DE Jeremy Towns
TE Justin Tukes
OL Jared Wheeler
A surprising no-cut was punter Kip Smith who took Cody Parkey’s job as kicker in the preseason as Parkey recovers from a groin injury. This could mean that we will get to see Smith kick again on Thursday since Coach Chip Kelly isn’t sure if Parkey will kick in the final preseason game.
A guy who does look like a clear candidate to grab a roster spot is running back Kenjon Barner. This seems impractical, especially when the Eagles already have three big-name running backs in their arsenal, but his punt-returning abilities and workmanship in the first two preseason games have given him the green light.
The big talk on the preseason has been the battle between Tim Tebow and Matt Barkley for the third-string quarterback position. The final preseason game will be a big day for both Tebow and Barkley since Kelly will most likely not keep a 4th quarterback. Also this may be Tebow’s last chance of making an NFL roster. Quite a lot of drama for the final preseason game. I have Tebow slightly ahead of Barkley because Barkley has yet to show us anything in the preseason. Both haven’t had a throwing touchdown in preseason play but Tebow has shown an ability to use his legs. Barkley will have the start on Thursday (as Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez will sit) but distribution has yet to be decided.
According to NJ.com, Chip Kelly has not made up his mind on the third-string quarterback position.
“Our opinions aren’t formed. It’s one more time for game opportunities.”
Sending off 15 players may seem like a lot but keep in mind that the Eagles still need to trim their roster down to the 53-player limit by this Saturday at 4PM EST. This means there are 22 more players whose jobs are still on the line. Of course making these decisions is not easy for Chip Kelly, especially when the team has the most depth and talent of any Eagles team in some time.
Luckily the players who aren’t “locked in” have one last opportunity against the New York Jets on Thursday to showcase their talents and their worthiness of a roster spot. I wish them all the best of luck and as always, Fly Eagles Fly!