It would have been hard to find a happier Eagle last Thursday night in the visitors' locker room at MetLife Stadium. Emmanuel Acho had just notched seven solo tackles, 11 total, including a sack, in the final preseason game against the Jets. Acho was confident he'd done everything he could to make the roster of the team that had acquired him in an offseason trade with Cleveland for Dion Lewis.
Acho, a sculpted 6-2, 240, capped a strong preseason with his performance against the Jets. That was reflected over the weekend, when the Eagles kept him on their 53-man roster while releasing, among others, inebacker Chris McCoy, who also had flashed skills.
But Monday, observers who'd been surprised by the cutting of McCoy to keep uninspiring veteran Casey Matthews were further confounded when the Eagles were awarded Tampa Bay LB Najee Goode on waivers, and in order to add Goode, they released Acho, not Matthews.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly was not available to talk about the roster tweak. Matthews played at Oregon, where Kelly coached before jumping to the NFL this year. Matthews was a disaster as a rookie starter at middle linebacker in 2011, but by last season, he was a productive special teams player, for some of the worst special teams in the league.
The Eagles practice for the first time as a 53-man team on Wednesday.