Philadelphia Eagles: Britain Covey’s other shoe may have just dropped

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Heading into the team’s preseason debut against the New York Jets, there wasn’t a player being hyped up more by Philadelphia Eagles fans than Britain Covey.

Dubbed the “Morman Missle” by some of his fellow Philly transplants, the pride of the University of Utah was looked at like a cure-all elixir to all of the Eagles’ special teams woes, with the added bonus of adding some intrigue in the passing game for good measure. Many a fan penciled in Covey as the team’s presumed starting punt returner in Week 1, a serious challenger for the starting kick returner spot come Week 1 depending on how the rest of the roster shakes out, and enough of a difference maker to justify keeping six receivers.

Heck, some overly eager fans were ready to call Covey WR5 and would eagerly raise their hand if offered a chance to drive Jalen Reagor to the Mile High City for whatever package Denver is reportedly willing to offer up.

So naturally, when the ball was kicked off of Braden Mann’s foot into Justin Hardy’s hands for the opening kickoff of the games, fans had their programs in hand, looking to catch a glimpse of number 41 return a punt or log some snaps in the slot like a Pac-12 Braxton Berrios. Even if he wasn’t a “featured player” in a traditional sense and would be forced to do most of his damage in the second half of the game, certainly he’d still earn enough opportunities to shine against actual NFL players and earn some additional goodwill with the man assembling the roster, Howie Roseman.

But alas, it just wasn’t meant to be; after failing to secure a single catch on two targets – which wasn’t fully his fault – the collegiate Ute was sent to the medical tent via a particularly brash blast from Reid Sinnett that, according to Ed Kracz of Eagles Today of Fan Nation, resulted in torn ligaments in his right thumb and may ultimately stop his momentum before it could crescendo on its own.

If Britain Covey can’t play, he can’t make the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster.

Had Reid Sinnett blown the thumb off of, say, A.J. Brown’s right hand, it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. Now granted, it certainly would have stunk, and fans would have demanded his release on the spot for hurting the Philadelphia Eagles’ new $100 million man, but it wouldn’t have resulted in Brown landing on season-ending IR, with his role on the team auctioned off to other potential players, or his spot on the team being called into question.

Why? Because Brown is one of the Eagles’ top players, and they will do everything in their power to get him back on the field after a non-season-ending injury because of his overall impact on any given game.

Britain Covey, unfortunately, is not that caliber of player.

No, Covey is what you would call a “bubble player,” who has to do everything right to earn a spot on the 53-man roster and even then wouldn’t be a guarantee if, say, Howie Roseman opted to keep an extra edge rusher or one more developmental offensive lineman. While he is technically a prospect, and the team could opt to keep Covey around on the 53 mand roster until he’s healthy, and at 25, the rookie is older than JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Jordan Mailata, and, get this, A.J. Brown, and would technically be 28 when his current contract expires; if he’s out of action for an extended period of time, the Eagles could always find a similar replacement on the waiver wire like Godwin Igwebuike before the end of the month, or could even trade a late round draft pick Kary Vincent Jr. style for a player like Darius Slayton who they like and don’t want to have to risk losing in the post-release lottery.

All things being equal, Covey’s chances of making the roster for Week 1 just went down.

Cam Jurgens gave a glimpse of a Jason Kelce-less future. dark. Next

Who knows, maybe Britain Covey already did enough to earn a roster spot based on his time in training camp and his limited preseason experience. Maybe the team’s other options won’t work out, and he’ll still be considered the team’s top “returning” option when he ret… gets back. Or maybe his thumb won’t be as bad as advertised, and he’ll be able to work through it or be back in time for Week 1 Jason Kelce-style. Either way, Covey’s chances of making the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster just took a tumble, and that, friends, is an unfortunate thing. Oh well, I guess Howie Roseman could always keep him around on IR and try again next year.