Big roster move on a Friday morning.

The Eagles promoted defensive tackle Bruce Hector from the practice squad to the 53-man roster and released wide receiver Kamar Aiken.

That means you’re looking at a group of Fletcher Cox, Haloti Ngata, Treyvon Hester, and Hector at DT this Sunday, with Michael Bennett likely to play a good chunk of snaps on the inside. Ngata is still iffy with a calf injury and that’s something head ball coach Doug Pederson mentioned in his press conference today:

  • Jalen Mills is fine after tweaking a hamstring in practice Thursday. “He’ll be good.”
  • Hector adds some depth at the tackle spot, Ngata is questionable, day-to-day with his calf injury. Addition of Hector doesn’t mean anything in regard to Ngata’s health.
  • Treyvon Hester has practiced well and can take #2 defensive tackle snaps if it comes down to that. “He’s going to be asked to do more this week.”
  • Mike Wallace and Mack Hollins “are doing well,” progressing nicely through rehab.
  • Optimistic Darren Sproles will be able to practice next week.
  • Rasul Douglas is back with the team (death in the family)
  • Pederson does talk to his team about the week’s refereeing crew (more on that later)
  • deferring on winning coin tosses is about gaining another possession in the first half
  • Jason Peters and Lane Johnson are both expected to play Sunday
  • Jordan Hicks is back to the player he was before the injury, has done a really good job, making plays and getting the defense lined up and organized.

Not a ton to write home about. Full injury report should come later today. Corey Graham (hammy) and Sidney Jones (hammy) did not practice Thursday.

If you remember anything about last year’s Eagles/Panthers game, the Birds benefited from two huge takeaways in the Carolina half of the field. The offense didn’t move the ball up and down the field, but Carson Wentz finished 16 for 30 for three touchdowns. It was a really nice defensive effort and +2 turnover margin that played a massive role in the outcome.

Nigel Bradham had an excellent game against the shifty combo of Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton. Newton did get his yards, but the Eagles were effectively able to shut down the running game outside of a few QB runs and scrambles. Carolina had 27 rushing yards at halftime and their running backs finished with a whopping 9 yards total. Jonathan Stewart ran the ball 8 times for -4 yards.

This was a phenomenal defensive performance:

It also the game where the Birds were flagged 10 times for 126 yards and Carolina was penalized once for a single yard.

What I wrote last year about the reffing in that game:

Someone pointed out that this was the same crew that did the Lions game last year, when the Birds were flagged 14 times for 111 yards. Detroit received two flags for 18 yards.

One of the flags in this game was a Jalen Mills pass interference that negated an interception. Derek Barnett was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct for knocking down Newton (he sold it) after play was blown dead for delay of game. Carolina ended up scoring on that drive, on a pick play that of course wasn’t going to be called. There was a phantom holding call on Wisniewski and Blount got whistled for pancaking his defender, which apparently is too rough in our modern snowflake dystopia.

Yeah. They’re playing at home this time around, and BWanks wants you to consider this:

Get your bets in now.