Aside from Mychal Kendricks‘ four-year extension, it’s been an uncharacteristically quiet week for Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles. Just about all of the team’s starting spots have been decided heading into their meeting with the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The offensive line, featuring two new starters at guard, has been all but confirmed and, thanks to Eric Rowe’s performance, nickel corner is less of a loose end than it was three weeks ago.
With a round of cuts quickly approaching, Saturday’s game will feature backups trying to earn the coaching staff’s trust. Here’s what to look out for:
Bradford wants more reps
After getting only one drive in against the Ravens last week, quarterback Sam Bradford told the media he’d like to get more playing time against the Packers. Bradford looked good in his cameo in week 2, but he still needs to shake off some residual rust and reacclimate himself to real game speed. A full quarter of action would be ideal.
The D vs. Aaron Rodgers
If Aaron Rodgers does see some playing time on Saturday, it likely won’t be for more than a drive or two. Nonetheless, he should provide the Eagles’ first-team D with a tough test, even without no.1 receiver Jordy Nelson. This game should give fans a better idea of what to expect from Billy Davis‘ squad this season.
Where and how does Josh Huff fit in?
Even if Chip Kelly chooses to consistently mix up his personnel groupings on offense, second-year receiver Josh Huff doesn’t have a clear-cut role therein. Huff is likely to share reps with Jordan Matthews, Riley Cooper, rookie Nelson Agholor and maybe Miles Austin. With a bevy of receiving options that also includes running back Darren Sproles and returning tight end Zach Ertz, the second-year wideout needs to make a statement on Saturday.
Backups fighting for a job
As mentioned in previous weeks, Brad Jones, Jordan Hicks and Najee Goode have been competing for a second-string inside linebacker job. Even with Emmanuel Acho‘s release following thumb surgery, it’s been an uphill battle for all three based on rep distribution. Safety is another Hard Knocks-worthy competition. With Walter Thurmond and Malcolm Jenkins locked in as the starters, Chris Maragos, Jerome Couplin and Ed Reynolds are vying for B-team spots. Maragos will likely make the team, if only because of his special teams prowess, and Reynolds made a case for himself after picking off two balls against the Colts in week one. It’d be a surprise if both positions get decided before the final round of cuts.
The Eagles’ tilt against the Packers begins on Saturday at 8:00pm ET.
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