Who likely will and won't play for Eagles in Week 17

Who likely will and won't play for Eagles in Week 17

It certainly seems like Nick Foles is going to play in the regular-season finale on Sunday. 

While head coach Doug Pederson said he hasn't yet made a decision about playing his starters in the meaningless game against the Cowboys, he hinted very strongly on Tuesday that Foles will get some action. 

There's a fine line because Foles could obviously use the extra time with the offense, but the Eagles can't afford for him to get hurt. 

"If that's the approach, then I would have rested him last night, quite honestly," Pederson said. "I can't worry about that. I have to play and get him as many reps as he can and be smart about it. Obviously, we have a lot of football left. Our season is really just beginning, quite honestly. We'll be smart, make good decisions there as a coaching staff, talk to the coordinators about play time and all that and we'll have a good plan later in the week." 

Foles didn't play well in the win over the Raiders, so getting him extra work seems like an easier decision. He failed to complete a single pass to Alshon Jeffery, and the receivers, in general, weren't involved in the game plan. Pederson said Foles will learn from the game, but he made an effort to point out that Foles didn't deserve all the blame. 

Last week, Pederson talked about the importance of his team keeping its edge heading into the playoffs, which also hints towards playing some starters. 

So run the numbers. This last game isn't like in training camp when they had expanded rosters. This week, they have just 53 players on the active roster and game day rosters are limited to 46 players. 

"If you do the math," Pederson said, "some of your starters are going to have to play." 

But there's also a possibility some starters might not play. A good place to start is with injured players. Brandon Graham is day to day with an ankle injury he suffered against the Raiders. It would be hard to justify playing him in a meaningless game. Same goes for Stefen Wisniewski, who is getting over an ankle injury of his own. 

Pederson didn't rule out the possibility of activating cornerback Sidney Jones from the non-football injury list but again mentioned that he hasn't played real football in a long time. 

If you had to bet on one guy who hasn't gotten snaps before playing this weekend, backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld would make sense. The Eagles seem set on sticking with two quarterbacks, so Sudfeld will be one injury away from being the team's quarterback in the playoffs. 

"You'd love to hopefully get him some time in there," Pederson said. "We haven't really seen him in an Eagles uniform taking snaps under center outside of practice. It'd be good to get him some time."

Eagles agree to deal with WR Mike Wallace

Eagles agree to deal with WR Mike Wallace

The Eagles have found their replacement for Torrey Smith. 

Heck, they found an upgrade. 

On Thursday, the Birds agreed to terms with veteran speedy receiver Mike Wallace on a one-year deal. The deal is worth $2.5 million, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. 

This signing makes a ton of sense for the Eagles, especially if they weren’t ready to hand Mack Hollins the starting spot Smith left. Hollins can now split time with Wallace. Even if the Eagles didn’t trade Smith, they weren’t going to keep him at his price tag, so adding Wallace gives the Eagles a veteran with speed at a cheaper cost. 

Wallace, 31, is coming off a season in which he caught 52 passes for 748 yards (14.4 yards per reception) and four touchdowns. For comparison, in 2017, Smith caught 36 passes for 430 yards (11.9) and two touchdowns. And Smith dropped seven passes, while Wallace dropped just three, according to ProFootballFocus. In fact, Wallace's numbers weren't far off from Alshon Jeffery's stats last year (57 receptions, 789 yards, 9 touchdowns). 

While Wallace isn’t coming off his best season in 2017, he went over 1,000 yards in 2016 and has averaged 15.0 yards per reception during his nine-year NFL career. The Eagles hope he'll be the deep threat they thought they were getting in Smith. 

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Wallace is second in the league in 40-yard receptions and in 50-yard receptions. He has 43 receptions of 40-plus yards (behind DeSean Jackson's 56) and 26 receptions of 50-plus yards (behind Jackson's 36). 

If that's not recent enough for you, the Eagles had seven pass plays of 50-plus yards in 2017; Wallace had three on his own. He can still stretch the field. 

The Eagles can now start Alshon Jeffery and Wallace on the outside, which will allow them to keep Nelson Agholor in the slot, where he was great last season. Then they’ll still have Hollins and Shelton Gibson (both draft picks from 2017) off the bench. Not bad. 

Wallace will turn 32 before the season starts, so the Eagles have added another veteran player, something they’ve done plenty this season. They already added Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata. It’s pretty clear the Eagles see the need to maximize their window of opportunity and getting players to join them is probably easier coming off a Super Bowl win. 

Signing veterans on one-year deals certainly worked well for the Eagles last season and if this one works out too, they will have found a good fit for the 2018 season.  

Eagles' Super Bowl odds changed by free agency

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Eagles' Super Bowl odds changed by free agency

The Eagles pulled off trades and signed a few free agents after the new league year began on March 14 ... and it's shortened their Super Bowl odds. 

The Eagles' odds to win Super Bowl LIII improved from 9/1 to 17/2 between Feb. 5 and March 22, according to Bovada. Despite beating them in Super Bowl LII less than two months ago, the Eagles still trail the Patriots, who stood pat at 5/1. 

Here's the full top 10: 

1. Patriots: 5/1
2. Eagles: 17/2
3. Vikings: 9/1
4. Steelers: 12/1
5. Packers: 14/1
5. Rams: 14/1
7. Saints: 18/1
8. Falcons: 20/1
9. Texans: 22/1
9. Jaguars: 22/1
9. Raiders: 22/1

As for the rest of the teams in the NFC East, the next closest to the Eagles are the Cowboys, but their inactivity this offseason gave them longer odds, going from 18/1 to 28/1. The Giants' odds stayed at 50/1, while the Redskins' odds went from 50/1 to 66/1. 

And here's a fun prop bet: The over/under for Michael Bennett sacks in 2018 is set at 8. Last season, he had 8½ with the Seahawks. Now, he's playing on a dynamic defensive line but also figures to play less because of the Eagles' rotation.