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Examining the roster ties between Patriots, Eagles ahead of Week 11

Roster familiarity remains between New England and Philadelphia.

New England Patriots v New York Jets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Bye weeks are in the rearview heading into Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

But familiar names remain between the 8-1 New England Patriots and 5-4 Philadelphia Eagles.

Five players on Philadelphia’s side of the aisle were once in New England, while four players on New England’s side of the aisle were once in Philadelphia.

Here’s a glance through those roster ties as the 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff pulls closer.


Jordan Matthews, wide receiver – Matthews returned for his third tour with the Eagles on Monday. But in the not-too-distant past for the former Vanderbilt Commodores record-setter was a tour with the Patriots. New England signed Matthews to a one-year deal in April 2018, though his tenure would end with a settlement due to a hamstring injury suffered during the initial days of training camp. The veteran slot receiver then reconvened with the Eagles to post 20 catches for 300 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to a 37-yard score in NFC divisional round.

Kamu Grugier-Hill, linebacker – Selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft out of Eastern Illinois, Grugier-Hill would be waived by New England following his rookie preseason. Philadelphia claimed the hybrid linebacker that Sunday of Labor Day weekend, and Grugier-Hill has since appeared in 50 games over four regular seasons. A Super Bowl LII champion who’s kicked off and covered kickoffs, Grugier-Hill has also started 13 games for Philadelphia since 2018. He’s posted 59 tackles, one sack, one interception and one forced fumble over that span.

Alex Singleton, linebacker – The Montana State product spent one week on the Patriots’ practice squad as an undrafted rookie in September 2015. Singleton also made stops with the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings before heading to the Canadian Football League, where he won the Grey Cup, was twice named a CFL All-Star and once took home the Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award. Singleton signed a futures contract with the Eagles, and has appeared in three games since being elevated from the practice squad.

Cre’Von LeBlanc, cornerback – Currently on injured reserve, LeBlanc first entered the league with New England as an undrafted free agent via Florida Atlantic in 2016. The corner reeled in a one-handed interception during his preseason audition, yet was claimed by the Chicago Bears at the 53-man roster deadline. LeBlanc has played in 39 games through his stays with the Bears, Detroit Lions and Eagles. His résumé includes 88 tackles, two picks, one sack and one touchdown. Philadelphia signed LeBlanc to a one-year extension in September.

A.J. Howard, safety – The Eagles signed Howard to the practice squad on Tuesday. The former Appalachian State defensive back earned a Super Bowl LIII ring with New England, just three weeks after joining the practice squad in January. Howard remained with the Patriots over the offseason on a futures pact, yet was waived at the cutdown to 53 players at the end of August. The 2018 undrafted free agent spent time on the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad in October.


Cody Kessler, quarterback – Now in his second stint as New England’s third quarterback behind Tom Brady and Jarrett Stidham, Kessler began 2019 with Philadelphia. The Eagles signed the former Cleveland Brown and Jacksonville Jaguar in May. Kessler started a pair of preseason games for Philadelphia before being released at the end of August, completing seven passes for 57 yards. The 26-year-old USC Trojan had been chosen in the third round of the 2016 draft, and threw for eight touchdowns and five interceptions while making 12 starts through 2018.

Devin Ross, wide receiver – Ross signed to the Patriots’ practice squad midway through October, and remains there after stints with the Tennessee Titans and Eagles since arriving as an undrafted rookie in 2018. The 5-foot-9, 192-pound wideout spent the offseason with Philadelphia, joining the Eagles’ roster in May only to be waived prior to the opening of training camp in July. Ross compiled 143 receptions for 1,643 yards and seven touchdowns during his collegiate career at Colorado, finishing eighth in program history in receptions and 12th in receiving yards.

Patrick Chung, safety – Ten years as a Patriot were split by one year as an Eagle for Chung. The top pick in New England’s 2009 class walked as a free agent in 2013. But Chung would be released by the Eagles 364 days into his deal, after appearing in just 12 contests for ex-Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly. A return to Foxborough followed. A different role would follow, too. Chung is now under contract with the Patriots through 2021. The strong safety has been part of three Super Bowl victories and surpassed 100 starts with the organization that drafted him.

Terrence Brooks, safety – Brooks, who signed a two-year deal in March, had been claimed off waivers by the Eagles from the Ravens at the beginning of the 2016 season. Brooks spent that campaign with Philadelphia before being traded to the New York Jets in exchange for fellow defensive back Dexter McDougle, who’d gone one spot after him in the 2014 draft. Brooks has appeared in every game for the Patriots this fall. The Florida State Seminole has recorded an interception on defense while playing 48 percent of the snaps on special teams.