With eight days remaining until the first roster cuts -- when the Eagles pare down their roster from 80 to 75 -- your friendly neighborhood Birds’ Eye View is taking a closer look each day at who’s in, who’s not and who’s on the bubble. Today we start with ...
Early on in training camp, this position looked to be the least of the Eagles’ worries. LeSean McCoy appeared to be a thought ahead and a step quicker than he was a year ago as a rookie. Mike Bell was turning heads with his legs-a-churning running style. Fullback Leonard Weaver blended in nicely with the offense -- not a small thing considering that a year ago he looked a little out of place in the Eagles’ anti-fullback offense. And Eldra Buckley was making another strong camp push to make the team as the third tailback.
But Bell got hurt not once, but twice and the situation now bears watching. He’s yet to play in the preseason, and for a player that is chronically injured, that’s a significant reason for concern. It means the Eagles better have a proven third running back. As hard as he runs and as solid a special teams player as he is, Buckley’s not that guy. He’ll probably make the team ahead of Martell Mallett for those reasons alone, but I wonder if the Canadian Football League product has a bigger upside.
The Eagles should be able to stow Mallett on the practice squad. I’m fairly sure rookie Charles Scott, who has mostly been at fullback of late, would last the entire season without another team swiping him off the practice squad. Of course, that would suggest the Eagles want to keep Scott on the practice squad. He hasn’t stood out at all during camp or the preseason.
J.J. Arrington, meanwhile, has been the Invisible Man since the Eagles got him in a trade for linebacker Joe Mays. He sat out the first preseason game and didn’t play Friday against the Bengals – I guess, because of his foot injury -- and it didn’t even warrant a mention from coach Andy Reid after the game. Not a good sign.
Keeps the playbook: McCoy, Bell and Weaver.
On the bubble: Buckley, Mallett and Scott.
Call your agent: Arrington.
Early roster prediction: Buckley survives final cuts and Mallet and Scott end up on the practice squad.
Tomorrow: Wide receivers and tight ends.