Philadelphia Eagles training camp observations: Jalen Hurts-A.J. Brown connection is dangerous, undrafted rookie receiving notable hype

The Philadelphia Eagles hosted their annual night practice at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday in front of thousands of fans.

PHILADELPHIA — With thousands of Philadelphia Eagles fans watching his every move on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field, Jalen Hurts took a snap from shotgun. The third-year QB — on his 24th birthday — peered to his right and saw his best friend and top weapon, wideout A.J. Brown, streaking down the sideline.

Brown had a step on veteran starting cornerback James Bradberry, so Hurts clearly liked his chances as he heaved the ball roughly 30 yards down the field. Brown then made a diving catch in the end zone for an impressive touchdown connection between Philly’s new dynamic offensive duo. The large training camp crowd then erupted at what has become a common sight on Broad Street throughout the summer

The connection is strong between Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown

With DeVonta Smith and Greg Ward sidelined, Hurts had limited familiar options in the passing game. That said, the QB1 has never shied away from tossing the ball to Brown, who was acquired for first- and third-round picks in April. Brown, who signed a four-year, $100 million contract extension following the blockbuster draft trade, has rewarded Hurts’ attention with highlight after highlight in his first summer with the Eagles.

The 30-yard TD pass was the highlight of the night, but it was not the only connection between Hurts and Brown. Earlier, the pair connected on a crossing route that set up Brown with plenty of room to run. The duo also connected on an out route during a two-minute drill later in practice.

The Eagles limited their team reps on the night, but it’s clear the offense has a gem of a playmaking connection between Hurts and Brown heading into the season.

That said, Hurts wasn’t perfect during the open practice. While he was able to pick up chunks of yardage with his legs, he did hold onto the ball for long periods before taking off. There were a handful of plays that would have ended with sacks if it had been a live game.

In positive news, Hurts has continued to show improved vision and accuracy across the middle of the field. He connected with wideout Quez Watkins and tight end Dallas Goedert over the middle during the final session of team drills. While he has held onto the ball too long at times, Hurts seems a lot more confident in the pocket through two weeks of training camp practice.

Hurts’ lone blunder play on the night was a near pick, as linebacker T.J. Edwards jumped a route but couldn’t haul in the ball.

Philadelphia Eagles Injury Update

The Eagles practiced without several starters on Sunday. Below are the 11 players who missed the workout:

  • OT Jordan Mailata (concussion)
  • WR DeVonta Smith (groin)
  • OT Andre Dillard (concussion)
  • OT Le’Raven Calrk (hamstring)
  • TE Grant Calcaterra (hamstring)
  • DT Javon Hargrave (groin)
  • CB Jimmy Moreland (ankle)
  • S Jaquiski Tartt (personal)
  • CB Kary Vincent (groin)
  • WR Greg Ward (toe)
  • RB Boston Scott (concussion)

With three of the top four offensive tackles out of action, the starting offensive line looked like this: Kayode Awosika at LT, Landon Dickerson at LG, Jason Kelce at C, Isaac Seumalo at RG, and Lane Johnson at RT.

The second-team group was: Josh Sills at LT, Sua Opeta at LG, Cam Jurgens at C, Jack Anderson at RG, and Jack Driscoll at RT.

The Britain Covey hype is real

The Eagles’ most noteworthy undrafted rookie throughout the first two weeks of training camp has been wideout Britain Covey. He’s received regular ink from beat writers in daily observations, and fans have become keenly aware of his return skills through YouTube highlights from his Utah days.

Well, on Sunday before practice, head coach Nick Sirianni, a receiver aficionado, added a bit more spice to Covey’s name. When asked about Covey’s performance during the offseason, Sirianni acknowledged the undrafted rookie has stood out since joining the team.

“When we were in rookie minicamp, he made a move early on in rookie minicamp with some major quickness, and you saw his quickness,” Sirianni said. “That’s what you see with him. He’s really quick. He catches the ball well. And he has great feel of what to do out there and he’s smart. He knows all the positions.”

Covey received first-team reps in the slot with Smith and Ward out of action. That’s notable, because former first-round pick Jalen Reagor, who has the ability to play in the slot, worked almost exclusively with the second-team offense.

“He’s had a good camp, but I think what really sticks out with him, and I don’t think it’s going to be a secret to the rest of the NFL, is how quick he is,” Sirianni said about Covey. “Everyone is going to see how quick he is, and everyone is going to remember the plays he made at Utah with his quickness.”

The Eagles are likely locked into a wideout depth chart with Brown, Smith, Watkins, and Zach Pascal at the top. From there, Reagor, Covey, Ward, Hightower, and others are competing for one or two spots. It sounds and looks like Covey is pushing his way up the totem pole.

Quick Hits from the Eagles’ practice at The Linc

  • Prior to practice, Sirianni indicated that former Chargers wideout Dontrell Inman was serving as a training camp intern with the team, similar to Eddie Royal last summer. Sirianni reflected on how the Chargers discovered Inman after a successful career in the NFL.
  • Also prior to practice, the Eagles brought back rookie OT Jarrid Williams, who was released before the start of training camp in July.
  • Backup QB Gardner Minshew had a nice TD pass to backup TE Noah Togiai on a crossing route in 11-on-11 work. Later, third-string QB Reid Sinnett hit Togiai for an impressive 20-yard gain during 7-on-7 drills. With Calcaterra sidelined, Togiai is getting plenty of looks with the second- and third-string offense.
  • Sinnett actually had an impressive night overall. He was able to find targets in zone coverage and pick up big plays with his arm. He had an excellent ball — thrown during 11-on-11 drills — to wideout Deon Cain on an out route for a gain of about 20 yards. He later connected with wideout-turned-tight end J.J. Arcega-Whiteside on a diving completion for roughly 20 yards.
  • Linebacker Haason Reddick had a quick “sack” on Minshew that was so apparent the play was blown dead in 11-on-11 work.
  • Olympic hurdler/wideout Devon Allen got nearly 15 yards on a screen pass from Sinnett.
  • Undrafted rookie running back Kennedy Brooks runs hard. While the Eagles are likely to only keep three backs, Brooks and Jason Huntley had some solid reps in team drills. Huntley had a 50-yard carry on a second-team 11-on-11 run where he avoided contact until he was pushed out of bounds at the opposite 20-yard line. Huntley also had a couple of good gains off catches in the flat.
  • Defensive end Tarron Jackson beat Sills with speed off the edge to score a “sack” on Sinnett.
  • Undrafted rookie cornerback Mario Goodrich broke up a TD pass from Sinnett to Allen in the corner of the end zone. Goodrich has produced a breakup in each of the three practices that PFN has attended this summer. He’s competing for the fifth and/or sixth cornerback spots.
  • Cain, a former Pittsburgh Steelers draft pick, made a couple of really nice catches with the second-team offense. The wideout group is stacked, but he should be set up for a nice preseason outlook and a possible job elsewhere if he can’t latch on with the Eagles.

Mike Kaye is the Lead NFL Reporter for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @mike_e_kaye.

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