Eagles waive defensive back to open up spot on 53-man roster

Eagles waive defensive back to open up spot on 53-man roster originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles on Tuesday opened up a roster spot by waiving defensive back Josiah Scott.

They now have 52 players on their 53-man roster.

In potentially related news, linebacker Shaquille Leonard left his visit to Dallas on Tuesday without a contract and is now on his way to visit with the Eagles. NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark reported the Eagles expect to host Leonard on a visit Wednesday.

While Leonard might not be the All-Pro player he once was, the Eagles could definitely use another linebacker and he would help.

Leonard, 28, was a second-round pick back in 2018 and was an All-Pro in three of his first four NFL seasons. After playing just three games in 2022, Leonard returned to the field in 2023, starting nine games. But he wasn’t the same player he once was. Leonard dropped in the pecking order and was released by the Colts last week.

Because of his previous contract, Leonard cleared waivers and became a free agent.

It seems like he’s going to be at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 9 either way; it just remains to be seen what sideline he’ll be on.

The Eagles are without linebacker Nakobe Dean, who is on IR for the second time this season after needing foot surgery. For most of the season, the Eagles have been playing Nicholas Morrow and Zach Cunningham at linebacker. But Cunningham suffered a hamstring injury against the Bills and had to be replaced by Christian Elliss in that game. Cunningham’s availability for the 49ers game is unknown.

Whether or not the Eagles sign Leonard, they likely needed to open up a roster spot either way. The Eagles have already elevated rookie linebacker Ben VanSumeren from the practice squad the maximum three times this year. And they at least need bodies at the position for a game.

So it seems possible this vacant spot might go to a three-time All-Pro or an undrafted rookie out of Michigan State.

The only other logical option for this roster spot would be safety Justin Evans, who had his practice window opened on Nov. 14. But Evans (knee) wasn’t able to practice at all last week, making it seem unlikely that he’s nearing a return.

As for Scott, the Eagles signed him off the Steelers’ practice squad on Oct. 18 and Scott played 17 defensive snaps against the Dolphins. But he hasn’t played on defense since then and was inactive against the Bills on Sunday afternoon.

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