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Westbrook on the Eagles' progress on defense
Emmanuel Acho spent the first seven weeks of the season on the Giants' practice squad after he was released by the Eagles following the preseason. (USA Today Images)
Emmanuel Acho is back with the Eagles, Jordan Poyer is a Cleveland Brown and Shaun Prater is out of work.
The Eagles on Monday released Prater, a cornerback who hadn’t played in a month, and replaced him on the 53-man roster with Acho, a training camp phenom released on final cuts on Sept. 2.
Acho, a linebacker by trade, spent the offseason with the Eagles but despite an outstanding training camp and terrific preseason, he was released and spent the first seven weeks of the season on the Giants’ practice squad.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said on his 94 WIP radio show Monday evening that Acho will replace injured linebacker Jake Knott on special teams Sunday, when the Eagles face the Giants at the Linc.
“Jake Knott hurt his hamstring yesterday, and so we were looking for a linebacker type of body for special teams,” Roseman said.
“There are certain things you need on punt and kickoff to play inside in those roles, and we knew Emmanuel had done a solid job for us in the preseason. He knows the defense, and he can come in on short notice and do it.”
The Eagles made the move with Acho just before the 4 p.m. Monday deadline to sign players off the practice squad of a team you’re facing the following Sunday.
The Eagles were awarded Prater on waivers from the Bengals on Sept. 1, but he played only against the Chiefs, getting four total snaps, all on special teams. He was inactive for all six other games.
For those four special teams snaps, Prater earned $166,764, or 7-17ths of his $405,000 minimum wage.
Meanwhile, the Browns and team president Joe Banner were awarded rookie cornerback Jordan Poyer on waivers, two days after he was released by the Eagles.
Poyer, a seventh-round pick out of Oregon, played in three games for the Eagles this year but after playing 17 snaps on defense in the opener vs. the Redskins, he didn’t play another defensive snap.
With Poyer and Prater both gone, the Eagles have just four cornerbacks on the roster: starters Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams, nickel Brandon Boykin and Week 3 addition Roc Carmichael, who moved past Poyer and Prater on the depth chart in recent weeks.
Another corner, former Delaware Blue Hen Marcus Burley, signed to the practice squad two weeks ago.
With tailback Chris Polk (shoulder) injured and unable to play against Dallas, the Eagles released Poyer to make room for running back Matthew Tucker, who is considered a more productive special teams player, although he played only two special teams snaps in his NFL debut Sunday.
“It makes some sense for us,” Roseman said. “Tuck is a big back, has a good future. We lost Poyer, he got claimed by another team. At the end of the day, we’ve got to figure out our 46 guys and we needed a guy to contribute with that kind of body type of special teams.”
Acho, 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, spent last year on injured reserve with the Cleveland Browns. The Eagles acquired him in a trade for running back Dion Lewis, who has been on IR all year for Cleveland.