On Tuesday 7/21, the NFLPA and NFL came to an agreement to cancel all preseason games.
Previously, only the first and last preseason games were eliminated, however it has now been deemed necessary to scrap all four games. This means our first glimpse of football will come on September 10th when the Chiefs and Texans kick the season off. The Eagles will follow suite three days later in Landover, Maryland against Washington (name TBA).
While getting rid of preseason is best for safety measures, many bubble roster players as well as late round/undrafted rookies will lose their chance to prove their worth in real games.
For the Eagles particularly, it will be interesting to see how Doug Pederson, Howie Roseman, and the front office are able to narrow down the team to 53 players and determine starters given the plethora of talent acquired in the off-season.
1) WR Core
One of the most harped on positions all of last year and the offseason, the front office finally addressed the receiving core through the draft, adding three rookies and trading a pick for Marquise Goodwin. In total, the Eagles now have 13 wide receivers on the roster. With the exception of DeSean Jackson and Jalen Raegor, the loss of preseason hurts almost every other receiver on the depth chart badly as it doesn’t give them the chance to separate themselves from an extremely competitive bunch.
It also doesn’t give Pederson and co. a chance to see which receivers work best with Wentz.
2) Who’s Starting at Right Guard?
With the unfortunate achilles tear of Brandon Brooks in early June, the Eagles need to find a replacement for one of the cornerstone’s of the offense. There was talk of Matt Pryor getting the first crack at taking Brooks’ place, but Jason Peters resigning last week could change that.
Of course, going from left tackle (Peters’ natural spot) to right guard is one of the most challenging transitions in football, which is why losing preseason hurts. Now, the Eagles will have to make their decision solely on training camp practices.
3) Safety Depth Chart
The loss of Malcolm Jenkins hurts, but the Eagles were able to make up for it by resigning Rodney McLeod, finally switching Mills to his natural strong safety spot, adding Will Parks, and drafting K’Von Wallace.
Although the starting FS spot will go to Rodney McLeod barring any unforeseen circumstance, preseason would have helped try out the new faces at SS.
4) Number 2 Corner
A completely revamped cornerback squad, much of the talk in the off season has surrounded the second cornerback position. Darius Slay is almost guaranteed the number one spot and the slot corner will be between newly acquired Nickel Robey-Coleman or Cre’Von LeBlanc.\
But, the second spot is in the air, and will be most likely dealt to Sidney Jones, Avonte Maddox, or Rasul Douglas.
Fortunately, all three have played considerable amount of time which may make the decision slightly less difficult despite no preseason.
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