New York Jets v Philadelphia Eagles

Wide receiver Quron Pratt was named to the Eagles' practice squad. (Rich Schultz, Getty Images / August 31, 2014)

Coach Chip Kelly was not joking when he said he had grown attached to his Philadelphia Eagles players.

Sunday, he and the front office brought back eight who didn't make their 53-man roster, which had to be established the day before, for their practice squad. Although they left two spots open — practice squads have been increased to 10 this season — none spent a minute with any other organization this summer.

Back are offensive linemen Josh Andrews and Kevin Graf, defensive tackle Wade Keliikipi, safety Ed Reynolds, linebacker Emmanuel Acho, wide receivers Will Murphy and Quron Pratt and running back Matthew Tucker.

In the process, they left two spots open that both fall under the new veteran exemption criteria in which teams are allowed to add players with as many as two full years on an active roster. Those are likely to go to players recently released from other teams.

Reynolds, a Stanford product, was the only one of this year's draft picks who did not survive the final cuts. He did nothing during camp to distinguish himself above the other safeties, but according to general manager Howie Roseman, that was at least partially because he missed a good portion of organized team activities in May and June due to an NFL rule that prohibits participation by college seniors until their class graduates. Stanford's trimester system meant he couldn't be in Philadelphia.

"Obviously Ed kind of missing the whole offseason and then coming in here and it's hard for a guy like that, you've got to catch up," Roseman said. "We just wanted to go with what we thought would be the best 53 guys for our football team, and some of those are hard decisions."

Acho spent eight weeks on the active roster a year ago.

Tucker's release on Saturday was probably the biggest surprise because, coupled with the release of other backs Kenjon Barner and Henry Josey, it left the Eagles with just three on their active roster, including Chris Polk, who missed the entire preseason with a hamstring tear.

Tucker also spent time on the active roster as a rookie a year ago and was solid throughout the preseason, although he did miss time with injuries and did not play in the second half of the 37-7 win over the New York Jets last Thursday because of a shoulder injury.

Murphy and Pratt were surprise additions because they came without the inclusion of Ifeanyi Momah, who spent the entire preseason ahead of both on the depth chart and worked a lot with the first team because of minor injuries that sidelined Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper for some stretches.

Momah also was among the cuts but was not brought back on Sunday.

Pratt, from suburban Philly (Palmyra, N.J.) is an undrafted rookie free agent out of Rutgers. He likely helped himself with a late surge that included two catches for 37 yards against the Jets.

All members of NFL practice squads are considered free agents and can be signed to any team's active roster at any time during the season.

The Eagles likely are not done shaping their 53-man roster, as depth at inside linebacker is suspect after being forced to place Travis Long on injured reserve with a torn ACL the day before. Long had displayed enough versatility to play all the linebacking spots and was believed to be a lock for their defensive rotation before the injury.

nick.fierro@mcall.com

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EIGHT IS NOT ENOUGH

The Eagles on Sunday brought back eight players they released the day before to be on their practice squad. They are: offensive linemen Josh Andrews and Kevin Graf, defensive tackle Wade Keliikipi, safety Ed Reynolds, linebacker Emmanuel Acho, wide receivers Will Murphy and Quron Pratt and running back Matthew Tucker.

They still have two openings that can be filled by veterans with as many as two full years of experience on an active roster.