PHILADELPHIA – The revolving door at the NovaCare Complex was busy with safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson making his practice debut and quarterback Ian Book preparing to arrive via waivers. Exiting were two disappointing 2020 draft picks, receiver Jalen Reagor, who was dealt to Minnesota, and linebacker Davion Taylor, who was released.
Veteran safety Anthony Harris, meanwhile, went 360 degrees after his own release after Gardner-Johnson was acquired from the Saints on Tuesday, accepting a spot on the Eagles’ 16-man practice squad.
In the flurry of roster moves, the return of All-Pro center Jason Kelce (elbow surgery) and star cornerback James Bradberry (groin) to practice got lost in the weeds.
The news wasn’t all good on the injury front, however, as lead running back Miles Sanders continues to sit out with a hamstring injury, 11 days before the season opener in Detroit.
Book, the former Notre Dame star will slot in as Philadelphia’s QB3 behind starter Jalen Hurts and Gardner Minshew after being added to the 53-man roster when the team released Taylor.
The Eagles also lost two recent cuts and potential practice squad candidates in the waiver process. Chicago was awarded undrafted slot cornerback Josh Blackwell and the New York Giants plucked versatile offensive lineman Jack Anderson.
The waiver wire was just the start of a busy day in South Philadelphia with the biggest splash being the trade that sent Reagor to Minnesota for a 2023 seventh-round pick and a 2024 conditional fourth-round pick that will de-escalate to a fifth if certain statistical measurements are not reached by Reagor.
The Eagles began assembling their 16-man practice squad by bringing back 15 players, headlined by veteran safety Anthony Harris.
The list includes QB Reid Sinnett, RB Kennedy Brooks, WRs Deon Cain, Britain Covey, and Devon Allen, TE Noah Togiai, O-Linemen Kayode Awosika, Le’Raven Clark, DT Marvin Wilson, LB Christian Elliss, and defensive backs Andre Chachere and Mario Goodrich.
The Eagles can have 17 players on the PS because Leo gets an exemption as a member of the International Pathway Program.
As for Book, 24, he was Notre Dame’s all-time winningest QB before being drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 draft by the Saints. He was forced to start one game as a rookie, a December loss to the Dolphins in which he went 12-of-20 for 135 yards with two interceptions.
In three preseason games this summer, Book played quite a bit and completed 42-of-65 passes for 315 yards with two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
The Saints, though, are set at QB with starter Jameis Winston, veteran backup Andy Dalton, and jack-of-all-trades Taysom Hill as the emergency option.
At 6-foot and 205 pounds, Book is undersized but has functional movement skills and natural leadership traits. His 30 wins as a starter is a program record for the Fighting Irish, one of that nation’s most successful programs, and his 72 career touchdown passes is second in school history.
Book also led Notre Dame to two College Football Playoff berths.
Only 33 players were claimed overall this year with the Bears leading the way with six different players, including Blackwell.