Eagles Camp Observations: Tough day for Josh Huff

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Eagles Camp Observations: Tough day for Josh Huff

The bad news: The Eagles are "a little short" at wide receiver, says offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. More on that here.

The good news: They're not short at cornerback, as Curtis Marsh (remember him?) has come out of nowhere and is making plays. More on him here.

More observations from Day 9 of camp:

Rising stock
Aside from Marsh, Malcolm Jenkins and Cary Williams put forth strong practices. He broke up a touchdown pass in 7-on-7s and smothered the elusive Damaris Johnson down the right seam in 1-on-1s to force an incompletion. Williams kept towering wideout Ifeanyi Momah in check down the left sideline on a deep pass from Foles down the left sideline in 7-on-7s.

Falling stock
Rookie receiver Josh Huff had a tough time making routine catches and getting separation. He dropped a real easy one at the 5-yard line from Mark Sanchez in 11-on11s with Marsh in front of him. Must have heard those footsteps. Also got out-muscled by Brandon Boykin in 11-on-11s, which Boykin turned into a pick. Huff did have a nice third-down reception along the left sideline that appeared to be out of bounds, but he was given the benefit of the doubt.

Reminder of the Day
Brent Celek might be behind Zach Ertz on the targets totem pole for tight ends, but he’s still a dangerous weapon in the end zone. He caught a 5-yard touchdown from Nick Foles. Celek beat DeMeco Ryans to bring in Foles’ quick hit.

Throws of the day
Tie between Mark Sanchez's threading a small window in the end zone to find a sprawling Damaris Johnson and Nick Foles’ back-shoulder touchdown toss to Brad Smith on a back-shoulder throw at the goal line along the right sideline with Brad Fletcher covering.

Critic of the Day
Lito Sheppard, an intern coach and former playmaking corner from the Super Bowl team, hardly praised Davon Morgan for his breakup on a Hail Mary at the end of an 11-on-11 drill. After hearing Morgan strut his stuff, Sheppard chided the rookie corner for not getting the pick.

Tips of the Day
Inside linebacker Emmanuel Acho stretched high to break up Matt Barkley’s toss to James Casey in the right corner of the end zone. A few plays later, safety Malcolm Jenkins did the same to disrupt G.J. Kinne’s pass to Emil Igwenagu.

Duel of the Day
The highlight of practice was the slot battle between Boykin and receiver Jordan Matthews. Boykin played tight and physical with Matthews, who’s adapting to the slot and asked Boykin to give him his best shot.

Boykin jammed the ball away from Matthews during a 1-on-1 breakup. In another 1-on-1, Boykin started his press before the ball was even snapped, jarring Matthews so early the play had to be restarted. Matthews then beat Boykin across the middle for a nice catch. Later, in 7-on-7s, Boykin again got physical to break up a Nick Foles pass to Matthews on the left side.

Blow-up of the Day
Defensive end Cedric Thornton capitalized on a blocking miscommunication and barreled through scrimmage before the running play play could develop.

Keep an eye on …
Offensive tackle Andrew Gardner. He’s been running at second team left tackle. The team needs a third reserve offensive lineman behind Matt Tobin and Julian Vandervelde (or third-string center David Molk) while Lane Johnson serves his four-game suspension. Gardner, in his fifth season, has held his own at camp and stands to be that guy, at least until Johnson returns.

The team is allowed a roster exemption for the first four weeks. Gardner, a 2009 sixth-round pick by Miami, has signed with five different teams in his career before coming to Philly. He played three games in 2011 and three more in 2012 with Houston.

Henery vs. Murderleg
It wasn’t even close. Alex Henery made all five of his attempts, including two from beyond 50, while Cary Spear hooked three of his five wide left.

Injury update
Bryan Braman took a few plays off after colliding with Darren Sproles on kick-return duty. Looked like got the wind knocked out of him. Read here for the rest.

Up next
The Eagles have a light walkthrough on Wednesday as they prepare for Friday’s preseason game against the Bears. They usually have a walkthrough two days before a game and do some running and special teams work the day before.

Sources: Eagles to sign former Villanova LB Don Cherry and former Alabama S Nick Perry

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The Associated Press

Sources: Eagles to sign former Villanova LB Don Cherry and former Alabama S Nick Perry

The Eagles have a serious depth problem at linebacker, and they're looking at a local prospect to try to fix it. 

The team will sign former Villanova linebacker Don Cherry on Sunday, pending a physical, a league source told CSNPhilly.com. ESPN's Adam Caplan first reported the deal.

Cherry, 21, first signed with the Bears after going undrafted in the spring, but was cut by Chicago in June. 

The 6-1, 240-pound Cherry was an All-CAA selection as a sophomore, junior and senior. During his time on the Main Line, he was credited with 331 tackles, 46 1/2 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception. 

Even with Cherry, the Eagles are still light in the depth department at linebacker. After starters Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham, the team has Najee Goode, Deontae Skinner, seventh-rounder Joe Walker and a couple of other undrafted free agents. 

After cutting wideout Jonathan Krause on Friday, the Eagles had three vacancies on their 90-man roster. They're filling another of those openings with former Alabama safety Nick Perry, according to a league source. The perry deal was first reported by Al.com's Matt Zenitz. The 6-1, 211-pound Perry spent last season on the Ravens' practice squad after going undrafted in 2015. 

Eagles training camp kicks off Monday, and the first full-team practice is Thursday. 

Five Eagles with the most at stake during training camp

Five Eagles with the most at stake during training camp

Training camp officially kicks off on July 25, when rookies, QBs and select vets report. Three days later the Eagles have their first full team practice. 

For the weeks after that, the team will be formed, and we’ll finally get a better understanding of the 2016 Eagles. Some players will definitely make the roster. Some already have their starting positions locked up. 

Then there are the players with the most to prove during the few-week camp. There are way more than five guys who need to impress during August. There are players who will make the team and who will lose the team, who will win starting gigs and lose them. 

But here are five on the roster that I’ll be watching closely: 

Josh Huff
Huff is a curious case. He’s super talented; he really is. He just hasn’t figured it out yet, and it’s fair to wonder if he ever will. He’s going into his third season and has just 35 catches in his first two years. There’s a chance he could win a starting job. Then again, there’s a chance he could lose his roster spot, though that’s probably much less likely. In Doug Pederson’s offense, receivers get moved around a lot, something Chip Kelly refused to do. I’d like to see Huff be given a chance to play in the slot. Obviously, Jordan Matthews has shined in that position, but if he lines up outside, Huff might be a good fit. 

Chris Pantale
During the spring, Pantale often lined up as a fullback with the first team, which meant the Eagles want to see if he can be a lead blocker. But training camp is where they’ll find out. Can he take a hit? Can he deliver one to a linebacker? The coaching staff will be looking to answer those questions. If Pantale can prove he’s a capable fullback, he can earn a spot on the roster and force the Eagles to either keep four tight ends or cut Trey Burton, who will also be given a shot to prove himself as a fullback. 

Isaac Seumalo
Through no fault of his own, the rookie offensive lineman is behind. The third-round pick was stuck at Oregon State because of the arcane NCAA graduation rule and missed all of OTAs. “I definitely think that will be tough for him,” Allen Barbre said when asked about Seumalo’s catching up this summer. For now, Barbre is the starting left guard, but Seumalo — along with Stefen Wisniewksi — will have a chance to challenge him for the position during camp. 

Eric Rowe
During OTAs and the mandatory minicamp, Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks were the Eagles’ two starting cornerbacks, and Rowe came on the field as an outside corner in the nickel package, while Brooks slid into the slot. That means Rowe isn’t really a starter after he came on strong as a rookie a year ago. He’ll have to have a good camp to retake his starting job.  

Kenjon Barner
Barner looked pretty good this spring. In fact, he even took some first-team reps at running back. But that doesn’t mean he has a job locked up. Last season, he was the fourth running back behind DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. This year, with Murray gone, he’s in the mix with Mathews, Sproles and rookie Wendell Smallwood. Will the Eagles keep four backs again? If they do, Barner has a very good shot to be on the team. But if the Eagles keep three, they might elect to keep a promising fifth-rounder in Smallwood over him. 

NFL Notes: League to review domestic violence allegations against Ezekiel Elliott

NFL Notes: League to review domestic violence allegations against Ezekiel Elliott

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The NFL says it is reviewing domestic violence allegations against Dallas Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott.

A police report says Elliott denied allegations that he assaulted his girlfriend early Friday in Columbus, Ohio, causing bruises and abrasions. The report says he wasn't arrested because of conflicting versions of what happened.

Three witnesses told police they didn't see Elliott assault the 20-year-old woman. Elliott says the woman got the bruises and abrasions in a bar fight.

The player's father, Stacy Elliott, said in a statement Friday that the claims are "completely false" and that his son has cooperated with the investigation.

Ezekiel Elliott is a running back who played at Ohio State. He turned 21 Friday.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says the allegations will be reviewed under the league's personal conduct policy (see full story).

Colts: NFL suspends Art Jones for 4 games
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Arthur Jones has been suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Jones has struggled to stay on the field since signing a five-year, $33 million contract in 2014. He missed seven games in his first season with Indy with an injured right ankle. He missed all of last season with an injured left ankle he sustained during the preseason.

Jones won't be eligible to return to the team until Oct. 3 but will be allowed to participate in training camp and preseason games.

His brother, Jon, a UFC fighter, also has run afoul of that league's anti-drug policies.

Vikings: Ribbon cut at new $1.1 billion stadium
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph spent his first three seasons playing in the Metrodome, a cramped, dingy noise box that tested the patience of fans and players alike.

The home locker room only had five bathroom stalls for 53 players and dozens of coaches and support staff. So when he walked around U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings' new $1.1 billion stadium that is set to open this season, he said comparing the two was like "ground chuck and filet mignon."

The Vikings held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday to mark the official beginning of life in their new home. The celebration featured current coach Mike Zimmer blowing the gjallahorn -- a huge horn used in Viking lore -- with coaching legend Bud Grant by his side and fireworks after a host of speakers praised the new stadium.

With a cutting-edge design that includes a translucent roof to allow in the daylight, a wall of glass with 100-foot doors that open to let the autumn breeze in and a locker room that is twice the size of their former home in the Metrodome, U.S. Bank Stadium has thrust the franchise into the 21st century (see full story).

Bears: Charles Tillman retires with Chicago
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Charles Tillman is officially retiring as a member of the Chicago Bears.

The two-time Pro Bowl cornerback signed a one-day contract and called it a career with the team that drafted him in 2003 on Friday.

He had announced Monday on Twitter that he was retiring. The 35-year-old Tillman, known for his "peanut punch" after forcing 44 career fumbles, spent his first 12 seasons with the Bears and went to two Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl with them.

He started 12 games last season with the Carolina Panthers before suffering a season-ending knee injury and missed the team's run to the Super Bowl.

Chicago also terminated defensive back Omar Bolden's contract on Friday.