The Eagles are heading to the Sunshine State this Thursday night to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The 7 p.m. kickoff will feature a friendly and familiar face on the opposite sideline in Nick Foles. However, It’s been reported that Foles will not play in the game. With an injury to Nate Sudfeld, it will be interesting to see how Doug Pederson weighs the need to get his starters reps versus the temptation to try to get Cody Kessler and others as much playing time as possible. These two teams squared-off against each other last season in London. Thursday night will provide a much more relaxed environment to evaluate players, grow as a team, and execute.
Where to Watch
Scott Graham (play-by-play)
Ross Tucker (analyst) • Dave Spadaro (sideline)
Eagles Spanish Broadcast: (TeleXitos)
Rickie Ricardo (play-by-play)
William Kulik (analyst)
NFL Network Replay:
Friday, August 16, 1 PM E.T.
Where to Listen
Eagles Radio (94 WIP)
Merrill Reese (play-by-play)
Mike Quick (analyst) • Howard Eskin (sideline)
Bovada has the Eagles favored by three points.
Jacksonville Jaguars -3 (-110)
Philadelphia Eagles +3 (-110)
Quarterbacks: The quarterback position will be under a microscope this Thursday night. The injury to Nate Sudfeld surged journeyman Cody Kessler and rookie Clayton Thorson up the depth chart. The duo’s showing against Titans was abysmal. Fans watched as the two QBs threw inaccurate passes and truly looked out of place. With a week of extra and accelerated reps, it would be promising to see some much-needed growth from the backup signal-callers.
The Running Game: Last week, running back Jordan Howard got a taste of live action at The Linc. Rookie sensation Miles Sanders also got a few touches. Their performance, whether from an O-Line shuffle or chemistry, was not impactful. Though limited in opportunity, if the pair gets on the field for a volume of plays this week, getting them going would feel great.
Linebackers: The linebacker situation is still in flux. Last week, Jim Schwartz was asked if Nigel Bradham is our middle linebacker. He gave his typical ambiguous response. It’s clear the injury to Kamu Grugier-Hill and the insertion of new players at the position has created a very fluid depth chart situation. Last week, the Eagles gave ups some gaping runs to the Titans. The unit will continue to build continuity this week.
Cornerback: The Eagles have a logjam at cornerback. Last week the trio of Rasul Douglas, Sidney Jones, and Avonte Maddox had solid games. Ronald Darby continues to increases his team reps each week and the team has an $8 million reason to push him up the depth chart. If the top three (Douglas, Jones, and Maddox) continue their good play through the preseason, the Eagles will have a tough decision to make.
Players to Watch
Mailata and Dillard: Mailata and Dillard will start once again at offensive tackle. For Dillard, it will be an opportunity to fight somebody else besides his teammates this week. Both players have strong showings last week and will seek to continue to build on the most reps, potentially, they’ll see all season.
Kessler and Thorson: Watching the two backup quarterbacks play was a miserable affair last week. Coach Pederson continues to state that the team does not need another QB at this time. If Kessler and Thorson produce another stinker, Pederson will likely be amending and reevaluating his previous sentiment.
Cyprien and Sendejo: Blake Countess was cut by the team this week. He was in no real contention to seize the third safety job however, he was a core special teamer. Right now Cyprien, Sendejo, and Sullivan are battling it out to be the next safety up after Jenkins and McLeod. One of the newest arrivals will have to show their worth on special teams and in coverage.
Shareef Miller: Las week was the Daeshon Hall show. Josh Sweat also shows some real skill and quickness on the edge. The team is desperately looking for someone to step up in the depth of the defensive end position. Shareef Miller had a quieter night amongst the young trio. The team also brought in two new defensive ends in the last two weeks. It’s time for Miller and others to show some flash on the field.
Mack Hollins: Mack Hollins has been a virtual ghost since his injury last season. This week he upped his practice reps and should be in-line to get some preseason action this week. Fans and coaches have been singing the praises of 2019 draft pick JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Hollins, with good quickness and hands, will look to make an impact this week.
Depth Runningbacks: Corey Clement is still returning from an injury. His absence at the fourth running back spot has given a select opportunity to the backup ballcarriers. Last year’s leading rusher Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood, Boston Scott, and Donnell Pumphrey all need to make a case for why the Eagles should carry five running backs or say goodbye to the services of Clement.
Week 2 at Jacksonville Jaguars (Aug. 15, 7:00 PM ET, NBC10)
Week 3 vs. Baltimore Ravens (Aug. 22, 7:30 PM ET, NBC10)
Week 4 at New York Jets (Aug. 29, 7:00 PM ET, NBC10/NFL Network)
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