Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Roster move tells us something about Celek's back; Jackson gets another honor

Roster move tells us something about Celek's back; Jackson gets another honor

The Eagles have some real concerns about tight end Brent Celek´s sore back. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
The Eagles have some real concerns about tight end Brent Celek's sore back. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)


Sometimes you can figure out who's healthy and who's not so healthy based on a roster move.

Case in point, the Eagles signed tight end Martin Rucker off the practice squad today and released running back P.J. Hill.

Here's what that tells us: The team has some real concerns about tight end Brent Celek's sore back and wide receiver Kevin Curtis is likely to play Sunday for the first time since the second game of the season Sunday against San Francisco. If Curtis wasn't ready, the Eagles would have likely added Jordan Norwood from the practice squad, too.

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Coach Andy Reid first revealed Celek's back injury during his Monday news conference, but the tight end left Giants Stadium Sunday night with the sort of neck contraption you see people wear when they're trying to sleep on an airplane. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said later Monday that he wasn't sure Celek would even be able to play against the Giants before the game. Celek, of course, did play and he played well, catching four passes for 64 yards, including the game's first touchdown on an 8-yard screen pass that was mostly ability his unwillingness to be taken down.

The Eagles have gone all season without a third tight end, but with Celek hurting they apparently feel the need to add Rucker, who was a fourth-round pick of the Cleveland Browns before last season. Rucker, 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, caught two passes for 17 yards in five games with the Browns last season, but was waived by first-year Cleveland coach Eric Mangini early this season. The Eagles added the former Missouri tight end to their practice squad Sept. 24. Rucker is the brother of former Carolina Panthers defensive end Mike Rucker.

Hill had been with the Eagles since Oct. 28 after being signed off the New Orleans' Saints practice practice squad. He dressed for the Eagles' Nov. 1 game at home against the Giants, then was inactive the last six games.

Curtis, who last played in the Eagles' Week 2 loss to the Saints, practiced last week and appears ready to return from a left knee injury that required surgery in late October. 

Jackson ST player of the week

Eagles second-year receiver DeSean Jackson was named the NFC special teams player of the week, thanks to his 72-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Giants.

It was the second time this season Jackson was named the NFC special teams player of the week. He also won the award after returning a punt for a touchdown against Carolina on opening day. He was also the special teams player of the month for September and the NFC offensive player of the week after scoring on a 57-yard pass and a 67-yard run during an Oct. 26 win at Washington.

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