Eagles add fullbacks, guard to practice squad

Posted: September 14, 2010

A day after losing their starting center and fullback to season-ending injuries, the Eagles signed two fullbacks and added a guard to their practice squad.

Signed were fullback Owen Schmitt, a former Seattle Seahawk who played in 15 games in each of the last two seasons but started just two of them, and fullback/tight end Garrett Mills, who had been on the Eagles practice squad.

Mills was with the Minnesota Vikings for the last three years but did not play in 2009. He played just nine games in the previous two seasons combined.

Guard Fenuki Tupou, cut after training camp, was added to the practice squad.

The moves came as the Eagles confirmed that Leonard Weaver and Jamaal Jackson are both out for the year.

Weaver has what head coach Andy Reid described as a "very severe" anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee.

Reid said doctors would need to look into the knee before they know the full extent of the damage.

Jackson tore his triceps (Reid had initially said biceps). Weaver and Jackson were both placed on the injured reserve. Jackson is scheduled to have surgery Tuesday.

Weaver moved through the NovaCare Complex on crutches Monday, his left knee braced.

"It's heartbreaking for me because you work so hard for so long to be part of a team that you feel is going to be very successful," Weaver said. "Not to be a part of it and then see them go through a tough time on Sunday without you makes it that much worse."

As gracious and accommodating as ever, Weaver described the searing pain of the injury, which bent his knee backward in a gruesome way.

"I've never felt anything like that," Weaver said.

Asked if he expects to be able to play in the NFL again, he said, "I definitely hope so. We'll see how things go from here."

Weaver's absence hurt the Eagles' comeback attempt. On their last offensive play - a fourth-and-1 run by Michael Vick that was stuffed - Weaver would normally have been in to block, Reid said.

Jackson, who declined to speak to reporters after the game Sunday, will likely be replaced in the starting lineup by Mike McGlynn, who played center during the preseason. Reid said that experience will prove valuable.

"I think it paid off because he was one of the guys that I thought came in and did a nice job. And I think everybody has confidence in Mike that he can step in and play," he said.

Reid recap

As Reid recapped the Eagles' opening-day loss - made all the more damaging by a long list of injuries - he assigned blame for the offense's struggles to himself, first.

"We have to do a better job of putting the guys in a better position to make plays. We had way too many mistakes and if it wasn't a wrong play for that coverage or it was a wrong read by the quarterback or a penalty or a missed blocking assignment," he said. "There were just too many holes to fill there that took place, which should be a very good offensive unit."

He added that "we have to do a better job on our kickoff coverage, which I think was again obvious."

But Reid praised the defense, singling out defensive ends Juqua Parker and Trent Cole for creating pressure on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Injury report

The list of those injured included quarterback Kevin Kolb (concussion); middle linebacker Stewart Bradley (concussion); defensive end/linebacker Antwan Barnes (wrist sprain); running back Mike Bell (right toe strain); defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley (ankle sprain); guard Todd Herremans (ankle sprain); defensive tackle Trevor Laws (oblique strain), and tackle Jason Peters (knee sprain).

Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214 or jtamari@phillynews.com.

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