PHILADELPHIA — Cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc practiced with the Eagles for the first time Wednesday, one day after getting claimed off waivers from Detroit.
Due to injuries in the secondary, there’s a good chance he could get some playing time against Dallas on Sunday night.
“I’ve just been grinding and keep my nose in the playbook,” LeBlanc said Wednesday. “It’s the next man up. That’s just the reality of it. I’m trying my best to learn the terminology, learn whatever plays I need to learn.”
The Eagles announced Friday that cornerbacks Sidney Jones (hamstring) and Jalen Mills (foot) will not play against the Cowboys. Jones, who typically plays the slot, will miss his third straight game.
As a result, it looks as if Rasul Douglas will replace Mills on the outside, while LeBlanc could see action in the slot. Another scenario would be to start Corey Graham at free safety and move Avonte Maddox to corner.
“We’re still trying to figure it out,” strong safety Malcolm Jenkins said Thursday.
Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is unlikely to move Maddox again based on his recent performances.
The 5-foot-10, 184-pounder was viewed as a cornerback when the Eagles drafted him in the fourth round out of the University of Pittsburgh, but he was switched to safety when Rodney McLeod suffered a season-ending knee injury against Indianapolis on Sept. 23.
Maddox made 24 tackles in the last four games and added a forced fumble against Jacksonville on Oct. 28.
More importantly, he’s become the quarterback of the secondary.
“Becoming more vocal was probably the biggest adjustment I had to make,” Maddox said Thursday. “I’m not scared to talk, but I’m the one giving the calls to everyone. When I play corner, I’m getting the calls from someone else.”
Douglas, a fourth-round draft pick in 2017, will try to show Schwartz he deserves a bigger role in the defense going forward.
The 6-2, 209-pounder played 65 percent of the defensive snaps against the New York Giant and Jaguars, but he received three snaps or fewer in the other six games. He did not play defense against Tennessee or Carolina.
Given his lack of playing time, he expects Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott to test him early and often.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Douglas said Thursday. “It’s the NFL, and when you haven’t played that much, you expect them to go right at you. I hope they do because it will give me a chance to make an impact.”
Note: Millville’s Mike Trout, the two-time American League Most Valuable Player and Eagles season-ticket holder, surprised some of the players this week with custom-make Nike cleats. He also gave away Nike cleats to the Eagles in 2016.