TAK­ING A FLIER

A fourth-round pick in 2018 by the Giants, Lauletta joins Philly as new de­vel­op­men­tal quar­ter­back

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Nick Fierro

Clay­ton Thor­son’s ten­ure with the Ea­gles ap­pears to be over af­ter the team an­nounced that it elected to sign 24-year-old quar­ter­back Kyle Lauletta to their prac­tice squad.

Lauletta, a fourth-round pick of the New York Giants out of Rich­mond last year, didn’t sur­vive their fi­nal cuts on Satur­day. Thor­son was the Ea­gles’ fifth-round pick this year and strug­gled in his fi­nal pre­sea­son ap­pear­ance be­fore be­ing waived.

Thor­son found work, how­ever. He was signed to the Dal­las Cow­boys’ prac­tice squad.

How long Lauletta will stick is not known. Af­ter all, the Ea­gles are car­ry­ing three quar­ter­backs on the ac­tive ros­ter al­ready. But Nate Sud­feld will miss the first few weeks with a bro­ken wrist, so the team would like to have a third healthy arm at least un­til he’s fit to play again.

The Ea­gles also an­nounced the ad­di­tion of TE Alex El­lis, WR Mar­cus Green, DT Bruce Hec­tor, G Sua Opeta, TE Josh Perkins, RB Bos­ton Scott, LB Alex Sin­gle­ton, and WR Greg Ward to their prac­tice squad.

All ex­cept Green were with the Ea­gles in train­ing camp this year.

Green was a sixth-round pick of the Atlanta Fal­cons this year and has the pure-speed skillset to be­come a dan­ger­ous re­turner. How­ever, he strug­gled to stay healthy this sum­mer, lead­ing to

his availabili­ty.

Lauletta is a Ch­ester County na­tive who grew up an Ea­gles fan. The former Down­ing­town East star has at­tempted just five reg­u­lar-sea­son passes with no com­ple­tions.

Thor­son’s chances of mak­ing the ac­tive ros­ter ended when the Ea­gles signed Josh McCown dur­ing train­ing camp. His prac­tice-squad chances likely ended with a dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance in a 6-0 pre­sea­son loss to the New York Jets last Thurs­day night.

“When we made the de­ci­sion to sign Josh, ob­vi­ously that put Clay­ton in a tough spot,” gen­eral man­ager Howie Rose­man said Satur­day. “We look back at the sit­u­a­tion that we’ve been in the last cou­ple of years in that quar­ter­back room, and just how Josh would fit in with Car­son [Wentz]. Some­times we for­get Car­son is 26 years old and Nate is a young player, and hav­ing that vet­eran in there with those guys, you see the chem­istry developing al­ready and [we are] re­ally ex­cited about that quar­ter­back room.”

In­ter­est­ingly, Hec­tor was traded to Ari­zona for safety Rudy Ford be­fore their third pre­sea­son game. Ford went on to make the Ea­gles, but Hec­tor was cut by the Car­di­nals, free­ing him to re­turn to Philadel­phia.

That eight of nine prac­ticesquad spots went to play­ers they cut is a re­flec­tion of their depth. Ward, Hester and Sin­gle­ton were par­tic­u­larly hard cuts, and the team has to feel for­tu­nate to have them back.

Sun­day’s sign­ings leaves the Ea­gles with one open prac­ticesquad spot.

In re­lated news, they al­most cer­tainly were in­ter­ested in bring­ing rookie tackle Brett Toth, cut on Satur­day, back for their prac­tice squad. But he was claimed off waivers by the Ari­zona Car­di­nals for their ac­tive ros­ter.

Toth played at Army-West Point and didn’t be­come el­i­gi­ble to play in the NFL un­til this year, when a change in pol­icy in­sti­tuted by Pres­i­dent Trump al­lows mil­i­tary academy grad­u­ates to de­fer their re­quired two-year ser­vice un­til their pro ath­letic ca­reers are over.

Also claimed off waivers af­ter be­ing cut by the Ea­gles was run­ning back Wen­dell Small­wood. He went to the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins and could be on the field as an op­po­nent in the Ea­gles’ sea­son opener on Sept. 8.

An­other waived Ea­gles run­ning back, Josh Adams, was signed to the New York Jets’ prac­tice squad. This was hardly a sur­prise. Jets gen­eral man­ager Joe Dou­glas was hired away from the Ea­gles in June.

ELISE AMENDOLA/AP

Kyle Lauletta was a fourth-round pick of the New York Giants out of Rich­mond last sea­son.

STEVEN SENNE/AP

Kyle Lauletta led a game-win­ning drive in the Giants’ pre­sea­son fi­nale, but was cut and claimed by the Ea­gles.

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