Heading into the 2012 season, the Philadelphia Eagles will have a number of interesting decisions to make regarding the 53-man roster, particularly in the secondary.
Do they keep five cornerbacks or six? If they keep four safeties, does Jaiquawn Jarrett make the team?
And what do the Eagles do with Colt Anderson?
Anderson is without a doubt the best special teams player on the Eagles. In fact, he might be a top five special teams player in the league.
He played at a Pro Bowl level last season, recording 11 tackles in 11 attempts, before a torn ACL suffered against the Seattle Seahawks in week 13 ended his season.
Meanwhile, he’s still recovering from the injury and hasn’t been cleared to practice yet.
It’s unknown whether he will be ready for the beginning of the season. That seems like it would be a long shot as of now. He’d have to be cleared and show enough in the next two weeks to earn a roster spot, and Anderson is anything but a roster lock even if he is healthy.
After all, here’s my current roster projection for the 53-man depth chart.
Now, I’m far from an expert. But I have Anderson starting the season on PUP, meaning he’ll miss the season’s first six games. I really do think the Eagles will be forced to do that because he hasn’t had time to practice yet, so it’s difficult to imagine him being ready by week one.
But when he is ready, he’s probably a good enough player for the Eagles to keep on their roster. Probably.
So who does he replace?
It could be any one of the 53 players, but it’s way to early to predict who it is.
He’ll probably be joined on the PUP by defensive tackle Mike Patterson, meaning the Eagles will need to find a spot for both Patterson and Anderson before week seven.
Patterson will definitely have a spot. Anderson may not.
It’s way too early to predict now though. If Anderson does make the team, it won’t be because of his safety abilities. He was only used there for 99 plays in 2010 and none in 2011.
He’s on the team primarily as a special teamer.
So it would help his cause if the Eagles’ special teams struggled through the first six games of the season because then he’d almost certainly make the team.
As of now though, I’d have a hard time figuring out who he’ll replace on the roster.
This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.