The Eagles signed Kern, a two-time former All-Pro, to the practice squad and moved Siposs to injured reserve after suffering an ankle injury during Sunday’s rout of the New York Giants.
That was the headliner in a host of roster machinations by GM Howie Roseman on Tuesday. Along with Kern, the Eagles’ brought back veteran safety Anthony Harris to the PS in a move tied to the knee injury suffered by Reed Blankenship against the Giants. Philadelphia did avoid the worst-case scenario with Blankenship, however, and the rookie safety is expected to miss anywhere from one to three games with a knee sprain.
“Obviously if we’re down a couple guys, [Harris] knows our system,” said defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon on Tuesday. “His football character is through the roof. We’ll get him up to speed, see where he’s at and get him going.”
To make room for Kern and Harris, the Eagles released WR Auden Tate and S Marquise Blair from the practice squad.
What’s interesting is how Roseman is handling the juggling of the 53.
Placing Siposs on IR gives the 12-1 Eagles an open spot but it didn’t go to Kern because star tight end Dallas Goedert is nearing a return from a shoulder injury. Philadelphia is expected to start the clock on Goedert’s 21-day practice window on Wednesday and if all goes well in practice this week, the TE1 is expected to be activated off IR on Saturday and play against the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Kern would then be a standard elevation from the PS to punt in the game. The second standard elevation could either be special teams standout Christian Elliss or Harris.
Considering the Bears’ offense is very Justin Fields-centric, who is perhaps the best running quarterback in the league, Philadelphia might feel more comfortable starting K’Von Wallace at safety because the strength of his game is run support. For Christman Eve at Dallas, the goal would be either to get Blankenship back or elevate Harris, a 2021 starter for Philadelphia.
Wallace played 46 defensive snaps (72%) after Blankenship was forced to exit against the Giants, making five tackles.
“He played well,” said Gannon. “We’ve been talking all along, and K’Von always gets mentioned in that. He plays some high-leverage snaps for us when he comes in the game, and I expect K’Von to go in there and play well.
“…I feel very comfortable with K’Von going in, and I thought he did a good job. Anyone that has a jersey on game day, there can’t be a drop-off if we have injuries or nicks or whatever the case may be. They’ve got to be psychologically prepped to go in the game and execute at a high level, which I thought he did.”
The Eagles will have three PS elevations to use on Kern and Harris over the final four games while Elliss has just one left, something that means Kern and Elliss will likely have to be promoted to the 53 at some point. Harris’ potential addition will likely be tied to the health of Blankenship and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, the usual starter opposite Marcus Epps on the back end who is on IR with a lacerated kidney.
Gardner-Johnson is not eligible to return until the Week 17 game against New Orleans on Jan. 1.