We have reached the dreaded fourth preseason game, where starters never played even before teams started to avoid playing their starters in most of the preseason games.
As little as it seems like this game matters, it does matter to individual players who are making their last pushes to make a team or put out positive tape for the 31 other teams.
Let’s get to some Eagles to watch against the Jets on Thursday night:
RB Josh Adams
It doesn’t seem like the Eagles’ leading rusher from a year ago is going to make the roster. With Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, Corey Clement and Darren Sproles as apparent locks and with Wendell Smallwood and Boston Scott still around, Adams should probably prepare himself to be waived. This preseason, Adams actually leads the Eagles with 15 rushing attempts but they’ve gone for just 28 yards (1.9 average). More surprisingly, he’s caught five passes for 55 yards and has looked better in that area. He caught just seven passes in 14 regular season games as a rookie. He might make somebody else’s roster. If he doesn’t, maybe he’s back on the practice squad.
WR Carlton Agudosi
No, he doesn’t have much of a chance to make this roster, but with his 6-6 frame, he’s still an intriguing prospect. He’s made a few big catches this summer and he can turn heads again against the Jets. Will he ever be an NFL player? I don’t know. But he has the type of body and skills that will always intrigue NFL coaches.
LB T.J. Edwards
He started out as a dark horse to make the roster, but the UDFA from Wisconsin has come on strong in recent weeks. And with the Eagles’ lack of depth at linebacker, Edwards definitely has a chance to make the roster. He’s one guy who could really help himself on Thursday.
K Jake Elliott
I’d like to see Elliott get a few mid-range field goal attempts in this game. He’s missed from 40 and 41 yards this preseason but has connected on two kicks from 50-plus. As even-keeled as he is, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for Elliott to get some confidence heading into the season.
TE Alex Ellis
The Eagles didn’t add Ellis until Aug. 2, but he’s come here and played well in practice and in the games. He’s still a long shot to make the roster, but unlike many guys who will play on Thursday, his odds are non-zero. And he could stick around on the practice squad.
S Rudy Ford
The Eagles picked up Ford in a trade a week ago, so he should play against the Jets. The 24-year-old was a sixth-round pick in 2017 and has played 455 special teams snaps in his two NFL seasons. Could he sneak on the roster?
OL Nate Herbig
Like Edwards, Herbig has become an interesting UDFA to watch. He’s the youngest player on the roster and the Eagles think enough of him that they’ve turned him into the second-team center despite having never played center before coming to the NFL. If he doesn’t make the team, he’d be an easy choice for the practice squad.
WR Mack Hollins
I still think Hollins is going to be on this team, but I’d like to see him earn it a little more. Maybe he can make a big catch or a big special teams play to justify the Eagles’ likely decision to keep him around. And we might get a hint of his job security based on how much he plays.
DE Shareef Miller
Doug Pederson acknowledged there’s a tough competition between Miller, Daeshon Hall, and Josh Sweat. Miller is the newcomer of the group, but the fourth-round pick from Penn State has come on strong. All along, he’s seemed like a candidate for a phantom IR trip, but maybe he could actually help this season.
QB Clayton Thorson
Last week’s lightning delay meant just three snaps and one pass attempt for Thorson, who called it a “bummer.” Thursday will hopefully be the last time we see Thorson in a game for a long time.
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