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Eagles begin trimming roster

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles coach Chip Kelly admitted he sometimes gets emotional when releasing players. It’s not something Kelly had to do as a college coach, and it’s not something he enjoys as an NFL coach.

Kelly and his staff worked to whittle their roster down Friday. Final cuts aren’t mandatory until Saturday at 4 p.m. Names trickled out as players were informed of their fates.

According to reports (credit in parentheses), the Eagles released running back Henry Josey (ESPN’s Adam Caplan), quarterback G.J. Kinne (CSN Philly), offensive lineman Josh Andrews (his agent, Brett Tessler) and wide receivers Ifeanyi Momah and Quron Pratt (the Philadelphia Inquirer). Wide receiver Arrelious Benn will be placed on injured reserve, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.

Several outlets reported that the Eagles were trying to trade wide receiver Damaris Johnson, which would likely mean he’ll be released if that effort is unsuccessful.

If all reports are correct, it would bring the Eagles roster from 75 to 68, meaning 15 more players must be removed by Saturday afternoon.

Until all the results are in, it’s hard to draw too many firm conclusions. But the trimming of four wide receivers does bring some clarity to that group. It means Jeff Maehl is in good position to make the team. Starters Riley Cooper, Jeremy Maclin and Brad Smith are locks. Draft picks Josh Huff and Jordan Matthews are safe, too.

The running back picture is clouded by injuries. Chris Polk missed the entire preseason with a hamstring injury. While that allowed players like Josey to make cases for themselves, one suspects Kelly believes his offense is responsible for some of that production. If that’s true then more weight would be given to skills such as pass blocking and receiving. That would explain why Polk, Matthew Tucker and Kenjon Barner were ahead of Josey.

Tucker left Thursday night’s game with a shoulder injury. The severity was not immediately known.

The most suspenseful competition is at kicker. Did rookie Cody Parkey’s 54- and 53-yard field goals Thursday night give him the edge over incumbent Alex Henery? The results will be in soon.