The Philadelphia Eagles made a pretty surprising move today in order to make an unsurprising one. With No. 3 RB Chris Polk ruled out with a shoulder injury he sustained last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the easy move for the Eagles was to promote Matthew Tucker from the practice squad to the 53-man roster as the No. 3 back. They did just that, but CSN Philly’s Reuben Frank reports that they released Oregon State Beavers rookie cornerback Jordan Poyer in order to make the move.
Poyer hasn’t played well this season and was dumped to special teams after barely playing in Week 1, but this is a very risky move. The Eagles will undoubtedly sign him to the practice squad if he clears waivers, but that doesn’t seem likely, in my opinion. Although Poyer was just a seventh-round pick, he was an absolute steal in the seventh. He had an excellent career at Oregon State and is a physical corner who received a first-round grade from some scouts.
With the struggles of the Eagles secondary, you would think that the last person they would release is a talented rookie CB who can provide some value on special teams as well. Maybe the Eagles see something in Poyer that they really don’t like, and it might have something to do with his lack of speed and athleticism. But head coach Chip Kelly saw Poyer on the other side of the field plenty of times in Civil War rivalry games against Oregon State, and Poyer is a promising CB despite speed concerns. This release really wasn’t worth it for the Eagles, and it is risky. It looks like the Eagles discussions to potentially move Poyer back to safety (he played there as a freshman in college) are more of a bad thing, and he has fallen out of favor in Philly. Still, it’s a very surprising move.