There are reasons head coach Andy Reid pushed for added depth at defensive end. That depth is about to get a stern test one week into training camp with right end Trent Cole injuring his shoulder Wednesday, two days after the team announced Pro Bowl left end Jason Babin would miss at least two weeks with a torn calf muscle.
Reid had already insinuated former first-round pick Brandon Graham was under extra scrutiny to have a good training camp showing. That became amplified further when Babin, who had 18 sacks and three forced fumbles last season, was injured.
There's now also a chance for rookie second-round pick Vinny Curry to get more meaningful reps. That's provided a lingering high ankle sprain doesn't become problematic, but Curry's strength has been evident in practices.
Cole was injured Monday, Reid announced Wednesday morning.
"Those guys now have an opportunity to get more reps," Reid said. "We always preach that every rep you get is an opportunity to show what you can do and be able to better yourself as a professional football player. When another man gets hurt it gives you an opportunity."
The Eagles don't yet know the severity of Cole's injury and couldn't offer a timetable for his return. Swelling increased Wednesday from what Cole had experienced the night before.
"He hurt his AC (shoulder) joint early in practice (Monday)," Reid said. "I don't even remember the play he hurt it on but it ended up hurting him at night. He got a hold of (head athletic trainer) Rick Burkholder and came back and got some treatment on it. It swelled up a little bit. We'll see how many days it is that he is out. I can't give you an actual time on it."
Graham said he's optimistic he'll start ahead of veteran Daryll Tapp in the preseason opener, but the Eagles are also rotating defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins at left end.
Reid also said starting tight end Brent Celek, sidelined with an MCL strain, was back running and "doing better" but still is unable to make sharp cuts at top speed.