The Eagles will play their third preseason game tonight, which used to be the all-important dress rehearsal game. Things have changed.
After two joint practices this week and as the NFL (and the Eagles) continue to place more value on practice over preseason games, things have changed. Sure, some starters will play on Thursday night, but don’t expect to see Carson Wentz. If he does play, it would just be a cameo appearance.
With that in mind, here are 10 players I want to see against the Ravens:
In his very first practice with the Eagles, McCown was already checking a play at the line of scrimmage. I think the 40-year-old vet will be fine to play in this game. After the injuries we’ve seen this preseason, maybe McCown shouldn’t play a lot, but I’d like to see him in there a little bit.
After breaking out in last week’s game, the rookie quarterback had what was easily his best week of practice. He just looked way more confident than we had seen him before. It’ll be interesting to see if he can continue that in a live game. If Thorson finishes the preseason strong, he’s probably going to force the Eagles to keep him on their 53-man roster so he doesn’t get claimed off waivers.
Rodney McLeod/Corey Clement
I’m lumping these two together because they’re both coming off injury and I don’t know if they’re going to play. Both thought there was a chance they’d play but weren’t positive. We probably haven’t talked about McLeod enough, but he’s an important piece of this defense. While the team added Andrew Sendejo and Johnathan Cyprien, McLeod is really the only guy ideally suited to play that deep safety role when Malcolm Jenkins is up in the box.
This has been an encouraging summer for the supremely talented Jones. With Ronald Darby’s return, either Jones or Douglas are going to be heading to the bench and that’s going to be a tough decision. Despite what Douglas has done, I still think Jones is the more talented player with the higher ceiling. I’d like to see if he can flash in this game.
This preseason, Hall leads the NFL in sacks (3), TFLs (4), QB hits (6) and forced fumbles (2). Let’s see if he can keep it going through the last two games. If Hall doesn’t make this roster, then we’ll know how little preseason games count in evaluations. But if Hall doesn’t make this roster, he’ll be on another 53-man somewhere.
Brandon Brooks was cleared to participate in 1-on-1s this week and from what I saw looked good. But we’re nearing Week 1 and it’s not definite that he’ll be ready. If he’s not, then Big V will step in. Vaitai has looked solid this summer, but I’ll be closely watching him again against the Ravens.
With the injury to Richard Rodgers, Perkins is now in line to be the Eagles’ third-string TE to start the 2019 season. Perk has had a good summer and is far ahead of where he was this time last year. But I wonder if tight end is a position the Eagles would be interested in upgrading after final cuts.
The guy who started at left guard in the Super Bowl might get cut. It’s been a tough summer for Wiz, who all of a sudden can’t seem to snap the ball. The Eagles have even replaced him at second-team center in recent practice days. With a good game on Thursday, Wiz could either help his cause to make the Eagles roster or perhaps raise his trade value.
While Hall and Shareef Miller have shined so far this preseason, it’s been a quiet two games for Sweat. And then he even missed a practice day this week with a knee injury, which is even more notable for Sweat. There was a lot of hype around the second-year DE coming into the summer and he started off practices strong, but let’s see it in game action.
While I have already seen enough to know Sanders should play a ton in his rookie season, I’d still like to see more. A few more runs and a few targets his way would show everyone what those of us at practice every day have seen. I think he’s the most talented running back on the roster.
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