Brandon Hughes injured his hamstring in Sunday's loss to the San Diego Chargers (USA Today Images)
Brandon Hughes is still out, Bradley Fletcher is practicing, Brandon Boykin is back outside, and the Eagles’ ever-changing secondary is still not at full strength.
“We’ve had concerns since we got here with depth at the cornerback spot,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. “That’s a big concern for us overall.”
Kelly said Tuesday morning that Hughes is missing a second straight day of practice with a hamstring injury he suffered in the loss to the Chargers on Sunday.
He said he doesn’t know whether Hughes will be available for the game against the Chiefs Thursday night.
Fletcher was back at practice for a second day after missing the Chargers game with a concussion he suffered in the opener in Washington.
So for now, Cary Williams and Fletcher are expected to start against the Chiefs, with Boykin in the slot and Jordan Poyer taking over Hughes’ role as the fourth corner.
Boykin is also on the injury report with a quad injury, but he practiced Monday and was expected to practice Tuesday.
Although Boykin has played very well – he has two of the Eagles’ five takeaways so far – Kelly said that so long as Williams and Fletcher remain healthy, Boykin will remain the third corner, playing in the slot.
“The ideal world is that Cary and Fletch play the entire year for us,” Kelly said. “Right now, Fletch is starting at corner, Cary is starting at corner and Brandon is at nickel. I hope they play great and get 17 interceptions, every single one of them.”
As for Fletcher, a five-year veteran, he said the concussion was his first but the symptoms disappeared quickly.
“I was just out of it for a little bit,” he said. “But I’m all back and ready to go now.”
After passing the so-called Impact test, Fletcher was cleared by the NFL’s independent concussion specialist on Monday, seven days after the opener vs. the Redskins. He said he’s felt fine since a day or two after the game.
“I just had to get past that test,” he said. “After the Redskins game and the next day came around, I was feeling pretty good. I had to keep taking that test until I passed it.”
After Williams, Fletcher, Boykin and Hughes, the only other cornerback on the 53-man roster is Shaun Prater, who have been inactive for both games after being claimed claimed on waivers from the Bengals Sept. 1.
Kelly indicated that Prater, who spent all of last year on the Bengals’ Injured Reserve, isn’t ready to play yet.
“He’s coming along,” Kelly said. “We picked him up after the cutdown to 53, and I know those [coaches] are working very hard with him, and Shaun’s working very hard himself, so we’re hoping we get a chance to get him acclimated.
“But it’s also not fair to him to throw him out on the field if he doesn’t truly understand what we’re doing and expect him to make a play on a Thursday night or a Sunday and just turn around and say we haven’t had a chance to cover that. But Shaun is coming, and we hope to have a chance to get him involved here pretty soon.”