The Eagles made a roster move and set a practice squad Sunday, as practice began for the season opener against Atlanta.
That's the thing about winning the Super Bowl and getting to kick off the NFL season on a Thursday night — Sunday is really Wednesday, if this were a normal practice week.
Not on the practice field for the Eagles on Sunday was third-year linebacker Joe Walker, who was waived after the Eagles were awarded D.J. Alexander, a linebacker and special teams star, waived over the weekend by Seattle. Alexander made the Pro Bowl as a special teams star for Kansas City in 2016.
"He was a good player — fast, strong, athletic," said Isaac Seumalo, Alexander's former Oregon State teammate. "He's going to be a good addition."
Walker, a 2016 seventh-round draft pick, played in 12 games last season, starting three, because of injuries. He was placed on injured reserve with a neck problem at the end of the regular season and sat out the playoffs.
The 10-member practice squad is composed entirely of players the Eagles cut, and who made it through waivers. Usually there are a few practice-squadders who come over from other teams, and that might still happen, but the initial group is homegrown.
Running back Josh Adams, the former Notre Dame star from Central Bucks South, didn't quite make the 53, but he did make the practice squad. Adams said he told management "this is the place I want to be," and he said he turned down overtures from other teams.
"I'm going to just keep doing what I've been doing, working my butt off, and I know one day, my opportunity's going to come," said Adams, a fan favorite in the preseason.
Safety Tre Sullivan, who spent 2017 training camp with the Eagles and part of last season on the practice squad, made the 53-man roster this weekend. But even as Sullivan exhaled, the team was trading with the Bears for safety Deiondre' Hall, who is suspended for this week's opener for violating the substance abuse policy. Hall can join the team Friday.
The Eagles' top three safeties — Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod and Corey Graham — are all veterans whose spots seem secure. When someone is cut, if the team decides it has to be another safety, that pretty much has to be Sullivan.
"I'm focused on Thursday," Sullivan said. "I'm putting my foot forward this week to improve as a player. I know what my role is this week and I'm taking full advantage of that. I'm doing my best to give the offense an outstanding look when it comes to Atlanta's defense, and when it comes to special teams, I'm doing the same thing."
Sullivan said he realizes his tenure is "day-by-day," but he is proud of making the roster, a year out of Shepherd University in West Virginia, where he played linebacker. "This is a big step for me, from last year … I'm here to play football," he said.
Atlanta coach Dan Quinn had heard about Doug Pederson's prickly news conference performance Sunday by the time Quinn spoke on a conference call to Philadelphia-area reporters.
"I understand you have quarterback questions, so, Matt Ryan will be our starting quarterback," Quinn said. He said the Falcons are preparing for the Eagles' offense, not for a specific quarterback.