Doug Pederson told reporters Tuesday that he hadn’t decided if Carson Wentz will play tonight.
Based on the fact that Nate Sudfeld is injured and Wentz is coming back from his own injuries, I think it’s pretty safe to say that we won’t see him in Jacksonville.
We also know that Nick Foles definitely will not play, so the reunion with “large penis Nick” will have to take place pregame rather than on the field. That takes the most intriguing part of this game out of the equation, and with most of the other Eagles starters also likely to rest, here are ten things that might be worth watching in tonight’s likely snoozer of a game:
1. Miles Sanders
Three carries for three yards last week. Would love to see one big run from him, a jump cut, a shifty evasion or “football move” in the flat tonight.
Jordan Howard also played on Thursday despite Doug Pederson sitting the vast majority of his starters, and here’s how he explained that after the game:
Doug: Wanted to see him live. Wanted to get him out there. He and Miles Sanders split the time in the first quarter, and seeing both of those guys together, that was the plan going in.
Follow up question: Why did Miles Sanders play so little?
Doug: Again, the plan was to let those two guys play the first quarter and then get the other guys in the game. Other than that, that was really it.
I can’t imagine we’d see anything different tonight.
2. Josh Sweat
People seemed to be on the fence about his performance last week, but of course it’s worth reiterating that he went up against Pro Bowler Taylor Lewan, who was playing with the Titans’ second unit as a result of his suspension.
Here’s one of those sequences on the edge where Sweat looked good:
Josh Sweat putting Taylor Lewan on skates 👀 pic.twitter.com/oSubMxU5zl
— Gayle Saunders (@EagleSessions) August 9, 2019
3. Cody Kessler and Clayton Thorson
Goes without saying, but with Nate Sudfeld on the shelf for about five more weeks, he’s gonna get an opportunity to show he can back up Carson Wentz. However, I think we’re all aware that if Carson goes down in September that the team is probably screwed anyway.
Combined, Kessler and Clayton Thorson went 5-15 for 19 yards and an interception last week.
4. Andre Dillard
Seems like the 1st round pick is fired up.
He got in two different altercations during practice this week, which included a pancaking of Johnathan Cyprien and a pseudo-melee with Derek Barnett. We’ll see how that manifests itself in Jacksonville and whether or not he has another solid week guarding the blindside.
— Jibbsy Rose Blanchard (@JibberJabberin) August 15, 2019
5. The fringe receivers
They’re probably screwed, since Kessler and Thorson won’t be able to get them the ball like Wentz and Sudfeld can. So if you’re Greg Ward, Carlton Agudosi, or Marken Michel, opportunities to stand out and stake your claim are probably going to be few and far between.
6. Big V
As of now, he’s your starting right guard and will be on the field week one if Brandon Brooks is not cleared to play. I’d actually say that line play tonight is probably the most important thing to watch on both sides of the ball, so get the remote ready and hit the rewind button a bunch of times. It’s typically hard to focus on guards and tackles since there’s so much going on.
7. Daeshon Hall
If we did a winners and losers list for the Titans game, he would have been listed #1 or #2 on the “winners” list alongside Dallas Goedert.
Here’s what defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said about Hall during his most recent press availability:
The whole off-season was important for him. When he came to us, he was a 3-4 outside linebacker, and had worked, like, really hard to keep weight off. Then get him halfway through the season, and then he’s working to put weight on. It’s a tough situation.
He filled a nice role for us, and not just us on defense, he made a couple plays on special teams last year. Now he’s added some weight. You see a little bit bigger physical stature for him. Can do some things.
I think you’re seeing a stronger, more physical player than when he got here last year.
Hall was a third round pick out of Texas A&M in 2017. He spent time on the Carolina and Houston practice squads before being signed by the Eagles.
8. the 4th running back
I didn’t see much to create any sort of separation last week between Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, and Donnel Pumphrey. Adams had the fumble despite catching a couple of passes, and here’s how each guy finished:
- Smallwood – 4 carries for 11 yards
- Adams – 3 carries for 3 yards
- Pumphrey – 3 carries for 11 yards
It would seem Corey Clement is still the 4th RB at this point, yeah?
9. Nate Gerry, Zach Brown, and L.J. Fort
I thought Brown and Fort stood out more than Gerry last week. Fort, specifically was tracking the ball all over the field and seemed to be in on every play:
I thought LJ Fort looked good on Thursday. Veteran flashed on film with his speed, play recognition and ability to defeat blocks. Has rotated in at times with starting unit after injury to Kamu Grugier-Hill earlier this summer. #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/K4XUIAocVD
— Fran Duffy (@fduffy3) August 11, 2019
Would like to see more “presence” from Gerry tonight, if that makes sense.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside only had two catches last week, so I’d like to see him get some more grabs.
Specifically, I’d love to see some first-quarter red zone action, where we might be able to see Goedert and JJAW on the field together with Jordan Howard, if he does indeed play again.