Eagles Notes: Amendola lands on Eagles' practice squad

Posted: September 07, 2009

The Eagles announced that they re-signed four players to their practice squad yesterday.

Wide receiver Danny Amendola leads a group that includes guards Paul Fanaika and Mike Gibson, and tight end Rob Myers. The 5-foot-11, 186-pound Amendola spent all of last season on Dallas' practice squad.

Any practice-squad player is free to sign a contract with any other team in the league. Teams are allowed to carry up to eight players on their practice squads, and the Eagles are expected to fill their remaining four slots today.

Amendola could find employment elsewhere. He had a fine preseason but was on the short end because of the Eagles' receiving depth. The team has seven receivers on its 53-man roster - DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Hank Baskett, Brandon Gibson, and Reggie Brown - although a team source indicated that Brown has been shopped around.

"Obviously, we have a lot of receivers here," Eagles general manager Tom Heckert said. "Everybody talks about how it's a numbers game. In [Amendola's] case, it probably truly was. He's a good football player."

Amendola caught four passes for 53 yards and ran seven times for 21 yards in the preseason. He also contributed on special teams, returning five punts for a 13.8-yard average and four kickoffs for a 22.8-yard average. He dropped a sure touchdown in the preseason finale against the New York Jets when he turned too late on a Kevin Kolb pass.

"I think he can play in this league," Heckert said. "He went through the same thing in Dallas last year. It's just one of those things where he's probably not the biggest guy or the fastest guy."

Fanaika, a 6-5, 327-pound guard out of Arizona State, was a seventh-round pick by the Eagles in April. Gibson was selected in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. He spent all of last season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

Myers was acquired last month after rookie Cornelius Ingram suffered a torn ligament in his knee. An undrafted rookie, Myers played in two preseason games for the Eagles. He had four catches for 44 yards. The 6-3, 243-pound tight end suffered a groin injury late in the preseason and missed the final game.

As of last night, the Eagles had only two tight ends - Brent Celek and Tony Curtis - on their roster.

Booker's departure

The Lorenzo Booker era in Philadelphia unceremoniously ended Saturday with the running back's release.

When they acquired him in exchange for a fourth-round pick during last year's draft, the Eagles were outspoken in their praise of Booker and considered him part of their draft class because they had wanted to select him out of Florida State the year before.

During his rookie season in Miami, Booker ran 28 times for 145 yards, but, more important, he caught 25 passes for 237 yards. The Eagles thought his pass-catching abilities would transfer into their West Coast offense.

But for whatever reason, Booker was rarely used last season and Correll Buckhalter remained Brian Westbrook's primary complement. The Eagles, though, continued to insist that they liked Booker.

Extra points

In preparation for Sunday's season opener at Carolina, the Eagles resume practice today. The players were given the weekend off.

Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com.

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