Eagles

Eagles 2017 training camp position battle: Left guard

Eagles 2017 training camp position battle: Left guard

As the Eagles' 2017 training camp draws near — rookies and selected veterans report Monday, July 24 — Dave Zangaro takes a look at five position battles that will be decided this summer. Today, we start our series with left guard.

From the time Doug Pederson became the Eagles' head coach last offseason, the positioning of the stalls in the far right corner of the locker room hasn't changed. 

They're arranged by the order of starters: (from left to right) Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson. 

That combination remained intact for the first four games of the season and the Eagles got off to a hot 3-1 start. But that was before Johnson's suspension and subsequent injuries on the offensive line helped to derail the 2016 season. 

As the 2017 offseason kicked off, the locker stalls remained unmoved. But the line might get a shake-up soon. 

Thanks to those injuries last year, rookie Isaac Seumalo played four of five spots along the line during his first NFL season. The only position he didn't play was center, which might actually be his most natural spot. 

Seumalo's experience and Barbre's advancing age (33), has set up a position battle at left guard this training camp. While Stefen Wisniewski, after signing a new deal this offseason, probably shouldn't be ruled out and while the team also added former first-rounder Chance Warmack, it seems like a two-horse race for now: Barbre vs. Seumalo. 

During the spring, as Barbre recovered from a leg injury, he and Seumalo split reps with the first team at left guard.

And if Barbre and Seumalo continue to split reps into training camp, it's going to be awfully tough for Wisniewski or Warmack to jump over both of them. So it seems very likely that either the aging veteran or the second-year player will start at left guard. 

"Yeah, right now I want to get Isaac as much [preparation] as possible to get him ready and get him starter reps," Pederson said during minicamp. "Then at the same time with Allen, it’s the same thing. Allen is another one of those guys that's kind of in that Jason Peters mold a little bit, as far as knowing what he can do and [our comfort level] in his ability. You know, we just wanted to get [Barbre] to camp and get him to the regular season."

That makes it seem possible that the Eagles simply wanted to get Seumalo some work because the veteran Barbre doesn't need it, but don't rule out the youngster. The Eagles should give Seumalo every opportunity to win the gig.

Best of NFL: Cowboys offense sputters again in loss to Chargers

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USA Today Images

Best of NFL: Cowboys offense sputters again in loss to Chargers

ARLINGTON, Texas — Philip Rivers threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns in his first Thanksgiving game in his 14th season and the Los Angeles Chargers beat the fading Dallas Cowboys 28-6 on Thursday.

Desmond King returned an interception 90 yards for the punctuating touchdown as the Chargers (5-6) moved within 1 1/2 games of AFC West-leading Kansas City after starting 0-4 while the Chiefs won their first five.

The defending NFC East champion Cowboys (5-6) lost their third straight by at least 20 points, all without star running back Ezekiel Elliott, in a damaging defeat for their fading playoff hopes.

Dallas, playing its 50th Thanksgiving game, finally ended a touchdown drought at a team-record 10 quarters on Rod Smith's 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

Keenan Allen had a career-high 172 yards on 11 catches with a touchdown, giving him 23 grabs for 331 yards and three scores in the past two games (see full recap).

Vikings beat Lions, stay on Eagles' heels
DETROIT — Case Keenum threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score all in the first half to give the Minnesota Vikings a double-digit lead and they went on to beat the Detroit Lions 30-23 Thursday.

The Vikings (9-2) took a huge step toward winning the NFC North, taking a three-game lead over the second-place Lions.

Detroit (6-5) made mistakes in every phase of the game and Minnesota took advantage.

Keenum was 21 of 30 for 282 yards with both TD passes to Kyle Rudolph that gave the Vikings a 20-3 lead late in the second quarter.

The Lions rallied to pull within four points early in the fourth quarter on Matthew Stafford's second TD pass to Marvin Jones.

Xavier Rhodes ended Detroit's comeback hopes with an interception at the Detroit 37 late in the game (see full recap). 

Redskins beat Giants in turkey of a Thanksgiving game
LANDOVER, Md. — Kirk Cousins threw two touchdown passes to compensate for a pick-6, and the Washington Redskins beat the New York Giants 20-10 on Thursday night on a drab field in a drab game between two injury-depleted teams that did not look ready for prime time.

The first half, in particular, was devoid of highlights: The NFC East rivals combined for nine punts and only six points.

But Cousins led Washington (5-6) on two TD drives in the second half, connecting with Jamison Crowder on a 15-yarder in the third quarter that broke a 3-all tie, and with Josh Doctson on a 14-yarder with 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the game.

In between, cornerback Janoris Jenkins intercepted Cousins' pass and returned the ball 53 yards to make it 10-all.

In the second half, the Giants (2-9) had one possession end with an interception by Eli Manning, four end with punts and another when they turned the ball over on downs (see full recap). 

Eagles injury report: Jake Elliott still in concussion protocol

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AP Images

Eagles injury report: Jake Elliott still in concussion protocol

Eagles kicker Jake Elliott is still in the NFL’s concussion protocol but it looks likely that he’ll be able to play on Sunday.

Elliott was a full participant in Thursday’s practice after being a limited participant on Wednesday. In Phase 4 of the concussion protocol, players are allowed to participate in non-contact drills.

Elliott suffered a concussion in the first half of Sunday’s game in Dallas and the team played the second half without a kicker. If Elliott can’t play against the Bears the Eagles will either bring back Caleb Sturgis from IR or sign an outside kicker.

While Elliott was able to practice  on Thursday, Beau Allen (knee) and Trey Burton (back) did not practice. Allen has missed practice Wednesday and Thursday.

Rodney McLeod (oblique) was a full participant on Thursday.