JaCorey Shepherd ACL tear tests Eagles’ cornerback depth

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When the Eagles traded cornerback Brandon Boykin, coach Chip Kelly said the decision was a reflection of the team’s depth at the position. Now that depth is going to be tested.

Rookie cornerback JaCorey Shepherd tore his ACL over the weekend, the Eagles have confirmed, and now the team is suddenly scrambling to decide who will play the slot corner position.

But the Eagles still think they have good depth there. Byron Maxwell is locked in as the starter at right cornerback, and on the left side rookie second-round pick Eric Rowe appears to be the starter. That would allow veteran Nolan Carroll to take the slot job. The Eagles also think Walter Thurmond and Jaylen Watkins, both of whom are listed at safety, can play nickel cornerback.

So the injury to Shepherd will not be devastating to the Eagles’ defense. But it does raise the question of whether Kelly still would have traded Boykin, had he known he was about to lose the rookie who had been penciled in as Boykin’s replacement.

29 responses to “JaCorey Shepherd ACL tear tests Eagles’ cornerback depth

  1. This has little to do with Brandon Boykin. If he were here he would have had the edge over Shepherd as the primary nickel CB. He probably would have maintained that through camp.

    The issue was that Boykin wanted a starting position on the outside, based on their evaluation of his performance, he was not the right guy for the job. (even on a team with ABYSMAL CB play late last year)

    The Eagles traded away a former 4th rounder for a 2016 5th (escalating to a 4th based on Boykin’s playing time) in the final year of his rookie deal.

    Sheperd’s injury is unfortunate for the young man, but unrelated to the Boykin trade at this point.

  2. How is it that this guy is ready & minnesota coaches are cool with babying trae waynes, who played awful last night -guess they need to sugar coat the fact they wasted the 11th pick in the draft.

  3. the Cowboys are gonna eat up that secondary, even without this injury. two starting rookie CBs, including one in the slot spells lots of bad news for Eagles fans and I love it.

  4. Of course Kelly would still trade Boykin because he didn’t draft him so in Kelly’s mind he’s terrible.

  5. This makes it sound like the sky is falling. REALLY!?!? Everything hinges on a rookie 6th rounder who’s never even played in a pre-season game?!? They will be fine. Also this article says that Rowe is the planned started but pretty much every other philly news story has said that Nolan Carroll will likely be the other starter on the outside to start the season.

    NEWS FLASH… rookie CB’s don’t usually do very well their first season so I doubt Chip is trying to rush any rookies out there.

  6. The Steelers offered a 5th rounder when he was drafted in the 4th round, which can be upgraded to a 4th by how much Boykins plays on defense. In lieu of his comments, I’m glad he is gone, because it was good value for a guy wanting to get paid while going into the last year of his contract.

  7. At the people saying that Boykin has nothing to do with this…seriously, get a clue.

    Offenses in the NFL these days frequently feature 3 or more receiving threats. There is no shame in being a really good slot corner, even if you don’t have the size to be a prototypical boundary corner.

    So when Chip vows to rebuild his secondary and now his top CB’s are Byron Maxwell (the second best corner for the Seahawks), and rookie 2nd rounder, who like all rookies will take his lumps, that is some cause for concern.

    Then, a decent veteran slot CB is traded for a pick a round lower than what he was drafted at, and that pick comes in 2016. The, his replacement is out for the year. And that’s before the usually nicks and scrapes which happen throughout 17 weeks of physical play.

    If you’re not a little worried, you’re delusional.

  8. Typical Giants fan. What does a slot corner have to do with ODB? Did Cruz go down again? If so maybe Chip can trade for him.

  9. the boykin comments are cute but show tremendous ignorance. PIT uses cover 2 which maximizes his strengths. Philly uses tons of man press which negates his strengths on the outside. he was never going to start on the outside in philly and he was not happy as a nickel. would Chip be smarter if he forced the issue and got nothing for boykin next year? do you really think your favorite team doesn’t have measurable prototypes at certain positions?

  10. I didn’t mind the idea of trading Boykin but you don’t let a starting caliber CB go for a conditional 4th round pick especially when he was excellent in the slot. I understand most of his moves but the Evan Mathis and Boykin moves are just Chip Kelly doing too much.

  11. Eagles have been extremely luck,y with injury. yes, it is luck. Chip Kelly has no insight into “sports medicine”, his is a phony.

    prepare for 3rd place in the division Eagles fans

  12. So wait, the Eagles have a rookie starting at one CB spot and you’re alleging this is a position of strength? Haha. We’ll find out week 1 when Julio Jones is lining up opposite.

  13. They’ve said Boykin has been looking good for the Steelers, didn’t look bad last night. A lot of people in Philly think the racism stuff the players bring up about Chip is directly related to the handling of the Riley Cooper incident. The black players that defended him did so more to protect the team and appease the people on the outside looking in but that some of the other black players did not feel the same way.

  14. I just want to say thank you to chip kelly. I love your house cleaning. Thank you for Brandon Boykin. You eagles fans are totally delusional. But that’s ok. You have never had a super bowl champion. So you don’t really know what it takes to win. Long live chip. Joke of the nfl.

  15. How many times did ODB line up in the slot while Cruz was playing? Oh right, you aren’t a Giants fan. Maybe you didn’t know that ODB was hurt at the beginning of the year, then came back right as Cruz got hurt.

    If you don’t know, now you know….

  16. Stop it Philly has 6 corner backs better than Boykin. This injury although tough for the kid has nothing to do with the strength of the Eagle secondary. He wasn’t a starter on the outside or at nickle. Pittsburgh fans I’m thrilled you love Boykin in August, get back to me in October.

  17. codiablo

    Lol How is he ready and he just tore his ACL? You just came to an eagle thread to find a reason to bash Minnesota is all that was.

    Zimmer is one of the best DB coaches in the league. If Zimmer wants to ease him in, then he will. They signed Terrance Newman for that exact reason. To teach Waynes Zimmer’s system and be a mentor.

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