Eagles elect not to elevate Anthony Harris for Bears game

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The Eagles on Saturday elevated punter Brett Kern and linebacker and special teamer Christian Ellis from the practice squad to the active roster for their game against the Bears Sunday at Soldier Field.

However, safety Anthony Harris, who the Eagles added to the practice squad this week and was expected to see action Sunday, was not elevated and will not play in Chicago.

The Eagles added Harris and Kern to the practice squad on Tuesday following injuries in the Giants game. Reed Blankenship suffered a knee injury and is out for at least Sunday’s game, and Arryn Siposs hurt his ankle and is out for a minimum of four weeks on injured reserve. 

With NFL interception co-leader Chauncey Gardner-Johnson on IR for at least two more games with a lacerated kidney, Harris seemed to be the likely starter at safety opposite Marcus Epps. Harris was a starter last year and throughout training camp before the Eagles released him.

He played in three games for the Broncos but didn’t get any snaps on defense, so his last meaningful action on defense came in the Eagles’ wild-card loss to the Buccaneers last January.

This seems to indicate that K’Von Wallace will start at safety Sunday vs. the Bears as the Eagles deal with the injuries to Gardner-Johnson and Blankenship. 

Wallace, a fourth-round pick in 2020, replaced Blankenship in the Giants game and has started six games in his career. 

The only other possibility is slot corner Josiah Scott, who practiced at safety during training camp.

Harris has started 61 games in his eight-year career with 10 interceptions, including an NFL-leading six for the Vikings in 2019. 

Harris is more of a coverage safety and Wallace more of a box safety. Considering the Bears are No. 1 in the NFL in rushing and No. 32 in passing, the Eagles may feel like Wallace is a better fit for what they're going to see Sunday.

Kern, now in his 15th season, is a three-time Pro Bowler. He’s averaged 45.9 yards per punt with a 40.4 net average on 996 career punts. He was released by the Titans in training camp and hasn’t played this year.

Ellis has been on the practice squad all year but was a game-day elevation for both the Titans and Giants games and gave special teams a big lift in both games. Despite playing in only two games, he ranks sixth on the team with four special teams tackles. 

Ellis played 21 snaps on special teams in each game and has also played 22 snaps on defense the last two weeks. His only previous NFL experience came in last year’s meaningless season finale against the Cowboys, when he played seven snaps on defense and 27 on special teams.

The Eagles got Ellis last summer after he was released by the Vikings, and he had three separate stints last year on the practice squad.

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