Babin will miss a few weeks while he recovers from a strained calf, and Cole was a new addition to the injury list with swelling in his AC joint, which is in the shoulder. Coach Andy Reid estimated that Cole could miss a day or a week, depending on how he recovers.
"A blessing in disguise that Trent and Babin got hurt," Tapp said. "The blessing is that those guys, they have injuries that aren't serious for the season. But it gives the younger guys more quality reps against an explosive offense."
The common narrative whenever a starter suffers an injury is the opportunity presented to the backup. Yet both Cole and Babin have a stranglehold on their starting spots, meaning the Eagles likely will be patient in letting them recover. And the coaching staff now has a better chance to evaluate perhaps the deepest position on the Eagles' roster.
Any discussion of defensive-end depth must start with Graham. He is the player for whom the organization has maintained high hopes since trading up to the No. 13 overall selection in the 2010 draft to pick him ahead of budding Giants star Jason Pierre-Paul. Graham has just three career sacks, all in his rookie year. He missed most of last year with a major knee injury and is just now declaring himself fully recovered.
Through the first week of camp, Graham has demonstrated the pass-rushing prowess that attracted the Eagles two seasons ago, and he continues to improve defending the run. Asked whether he will play more like Babin or Cole, he said "Brandon Graham" - which is not exactly a ringing endorsement when assessing his first two NFL seasons.
Graham has kept his self-confidence even if his lack of production gave fans little reason to believe in him. Graham said that he's eager to excel with his newfound - and likely temporary - starting spot because it can give him the forum to halt the questions about his play.
"I know I've been working, and that's the goal - to get the No. 1 spot," Graham said. "I know Jason Babin and those guys did a lot last year. But it's a competition every year. Everybody deserves a chance for that No. 1."
For Tapp, the scenario is different. He, too, is rebounding from an injury-plagued season, but that followed 211/2 sacks during his first five years. Tapp is an established veteran, but he also finds himself surrounded by promising players. Vinny Curry is a second-round pick who will make the team, and Phillip Hunt was an intriguing prospect from the Canadian Football League last year who also is competing for a job with the Eagles.
Tapp is hardened by six seasons of watching the reality of the NFL, so he sounds genuine when he insists that he pays little attention to roster numbers during training camp. But Tapp is similar to Cole and Babin in that he has reached the prime stage of his career. The Eagles must determine whether the promise of someone else is better than the steadiness of a known entity.
"Eye in the sky never lies," said Tapp, citing a philosophy of many players in his position. But Tapp also acknowledged that while he thinks he will be on the team this season, there are few players who are entrenched.
Graham and Tapp were acquired before the shift to Jim Washburn's style of defensive-line play. It is how they play in the absence of Cole and Babin that will show the team how reliable the depth is and whether the Eagles truly have more than two starters, as they often insist.
"Nothing's in stone for anybody," Tapp said. "But the NFL's a what-have-you-done-lately kind of league. Anybody can be cut, anybody can make the team."
Contact Zach Berman at email@example.com or follow on Twitter @ZBerm.