The Eagles announce the return of Kerryon Johnson and other news about the training team

The Philadelphia Eagles officially announced some news about the training team on Tuesday night. An overview:

  • RB Kerryon Johnson and Olympics Luke Juriga were signed to the training team.
  • K Matt McCrane was released from the training team.
  • WR John Hightower was placed on the training team’s COVID list.
  • OT Kayode Awosika, RB Jason Huntley, CB Mac McCain and LB JaCoby Stevens were appointed with training team protection.

Let’s sort through this on a player-by-player basis.


That The Eagles originally demanded Johnson exemptions when he was released by the Detroit Lions in May. Like a previous election in the second round that showed some promise early in his career, he was an exciting pickup.

It was thought that Johnson would have a good chance of getting on the list, but he got injured in training camp. As a result, he was waived with an injury designation when the Eagles were required to trim their roster from 90 to 85 players in mid-August.

Johnson reappeared when he signed with the San Francisco 49ers’ training team in September, but was released in October. He trained for a few teams (Packers, Washington, Vikings), but remained unsigned … until now.

The Eagles, who bring Johnson back, raise questions about the seriousness of Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard’s injuries. Sanders has already been ruled out of Philly’s Week 17 match due to a broken hand. Nick Sirianni said he was “hoping” JoHo could play, but also added that he “would not put any schedules on anyone.”

If Howard can not play because of the stinger he suffered, which leaves the Eagles with only two healthy running backs: Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell. And the coaching staff seems to have some reservations about the latter.

The Eagles now have two running backs on the training team between Johnson and Huntley. The former (5-11, 206 pounds) offers a larger profile than the latter (5-9, 193 pounds). Another sign that there could be concern for Howard, who is the Eagles’ most physical back.


The Eagles released Juriga on Saturday to pick up McCrane. But now he is back to give the Eagles more inner offensive line depth.

Sirianni said Nate Herbig would have been able to return to Sunday’s match if needed, despite suffering a knee injury. Juriga’s return could be a precaution against Herbig’s status.


The Eagles first signed McCrane last Saturday and he is already gone a few days later. They want his speed dial number if Jake Elliott becomes unavailable for any reason.

Special teams coordinator Michael Clay touched on why the Eagles signed McCrane earlier on Tuesday:

Q. What went into the decision to pick up Matt McCrane? And why was it important to prioritize the kicker rather than perhaps also bringing in an extra long snapper or an extra punter?

MICHAEL CLAY: It’s clear we’re all seen the headlines and everything with COVID and people going down. It was more of a contingency plan in case something should happen where we need to have a kicker in. So it was more just to make sure we were ready for anything to happen, and Nick [Sirianni] and Howie [Roseman] does a good job of thinking ahead, just in case. It was more just to cover ourselves more than anything else.


Hightower is the second member of the Eagles’ training team to go on the COVID list. Noah Togiai was added earlier on Monday. Hightower would normally be a top candidate to be elevated to the list if the Eagles needed more receiving depth.


With Le’Raven Clark and Andre Dillard still on the COVID list, the Eagles are thin for offensive tackling. The birds do not want to be further depleted by another team, poaching Awosika.


Protecting Huntley makes sense given Sanders and Howard’s injuries. He’s a candidate to be promoted this weekend. Gainwell’s kickoff return fumbling, in addition to Jalen Reagor’s matches on that unit, should really make the Eagles give Huntley a chance at that spot. There is reason to believe that he is their best option in that role when looking at his college numbers (averaging 25.8, five touchdowns).


The Eagles have been protecting McCain ever since they added him to the training team. They value his potential. It also makes sense to make sure he is available with Andre Chachere on the COVID list.


Stevens received protection for just the second time this year. The Eagles are thin on linebackers with TJ Edwards, Alex Singleton, Genard Avery and Patrick Johnson as the only healthy players at that position on the active list. And the latter two players are more specialized contributors than traditional off-ball linebackers like the former two. Stevens ‘protection prevents the Eagles’ LB depth from being further depleted.


DE Derek Barnett
LB Shaun Bradley
DB Andre Chachere
OT Le’Raven Clark
OT Andre Dillard
DE Tarron Jackson
DE Ryan Kerrigan


DEN Noah Togiai
WR John Hightower

See below for a current look at the Eagles’ 2021 training team.

Format: Position, player, (times protected this season), [times elevated this season]*

* Covid-19 increases are not included.

WR John Hightower (11) [1] – COVID LIST

Jared Mayden (5) [2]

G / T Kayode Awosika (5)

CB Craig James (3)

CB Mac McCain (3)

LB JaCoby Stevens (2)

TE Noah Togiai (2) – COVID LIST

DT Marvin Wilson (2)

TE Richard Rodgers (1) [2]

FRA Cameron Malveaux (1)

RB Jason Huntley (1)

RB Kerryon Johnson

OL Luke Juriga

OT Casey Tucker

WR KeeSean Johnson

WR Deon Cain

DT Raequan Williams

LB Christian Elliss

{DE Matt Leo – international exception – does not count in the border}

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