The Eagles' defense on containing the Chiefs
Cornerback Roc Carmichael had 10 tackles and a pass defensed in six games with the Texans last season. (USA Today Images)
The Eagles signed cornerback Roc Carmichael off the Texans’ practice squad Wednesday in a move to beef up their struggling secondary.
Carmichael, the Texans’ fourth-round draft pick in 2011, didn’t play as a rookie and played five games last year, getting 42 snaps on defense and 89 on special teams.
To make room on the 53-man roster, the Eagles placed cornerback Brandon Hughes on injured reserve with a hamstring injury he suffered against the Chargers.
Although it was initially announced that the Eagles had used the short-term IR designation on Hughes, that was not correct. Short-term IR allows a team to bring back one player per year after six weeks. Hughes is on an injured reserve list that does not allow him to play again for the Eagles this year, and when he’s cleared -- presumably in the next few days -- he’s expected to be released. Because Hughes is a vested veteran, he cannot be waived/injured immediately.
The Eagles released Hughes a week ago Saturday before re-signing him three days later to avoid having to guarantee his entire 2013 base salary of $540,000. That move will now save them about $444,705, if he’s released in the next week.
So Hughes has gone from the Eagles’ No. 2 outside cornerback a few days ago to being released. Hughes, 27 and a 2009 fifth-round draft pick of the Chargers, has played in 31 games over four seasons with the Eagles.
As for Carmichael, he was the 19th defensive back taken in the 2011 draft, which was the draft where the Eagles took Jaiquawn Jarrett in the second round and Curtis Marsh in the third. Both have since been released.
Carmichael stands 5-foot-10, 190 pounds. Since the Eagles signed him off another team’s practice squad, he must remain on the Eagles’ 53-man roster for three weeks (or if they release him, they must pay him for three weeks, and he still counts against their 53).
The Eagles go into their game against the Chiefs Thursday night at the Linc with six cornerbacks on the roster. Only Brandon Boykin was with the team last year.
But of that group, starter Bradley Fletcher missed last week’s game with a concussion, recent acquisition Shaun Prater hasn’t played yet, rookie seventh-round Jordan Poyer has gotten only 17 snaps on defense so far, Carmichael obviously isn’t ready to play yet and Hughes is on IR.
That leaves starter Cary Williams and slot corner Boykin, who started in place of Fletcher Sunday, as the only healthy corners with significant NFL experience who were here throughout the preseason.
“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.”