JaCorey Shepherd Injured During Practice
The Eagles depth at corner may be a little thinner today after JaCorey Shepherd was carted off the field with what seemed to be an injury to his right leg.
Shepherd collided with Darren Sproles on the far sideline after the running back made a catch and turned up field. He stayed down after the play and was attended to by the Eagles training staff before he was able to stand up and gingerly walk to a nearby cart that took him back to the training room.
The rookie sixth-round pick appeared to be the favorite to land the nickel spot vacated by Brandon Boykin, but that could very well change depending on the prognosis of his injury. Chip Kelly talked about the depth the team has at corner on the first day of training camp and explained the different guys who would be competing for that spot.
“We’re going to run everyone through there, to be honest with you,” the coach said. “We have so many training sessions between now and when we play against the Falcons, we’ll get enough reps [to determine] who will be the nickel at that time, there’s a lot of candidates. [Walter Thurmond] will stay at safety right now, you won’t see him at nickel. JaCorey Shepherd will be in there, you’ll see [Jaylen] Watkins in there, E.J. Biggers has played in there so we’ll mix and match and try to get as many reps as we possibly can for those guys.”
Watkins was the guy that took over Shepherd’s reps for the remainder of practice. The second-year veteran was already taking reps with the ones today, and after practice he explained why his game can translate to being a decent nickel back.
“I’m very big for a slot corner, so I can play the run game better,” Watkins explained. “I’ve played safety so obviously I can play the run game better. I’m one of the better cover guys, in general, in the slot.”
Watkins also noted he didn’t think the injury was too serious when it occurred.
“I thought it was a cramp, I just saw a thud and he was on the ground,” he said. ” I didn’t see anything happen with his leg so I just thought it was a cramp or something.”
Sproles also explained to reporters after practice he wasn’t exactly sure what happened to Shepherd after the two met head-on down the field.
“Oh, I don’t know, we were on the sideline, then I kind of braced myself and I heard him hollering,” Sproles said. “But I don’t know what happened.
“I don’t know if his foot got caught, or what.”