Eagles to sit starters in preseason finale

Rookie Earl Wolff is still in the mix to win a starting safety spot for the Eagles.
Rookie Earl Wolff is still in the mix to win a starting safety spot for the Eagles.

No matter your opinion on the Eagles’ performance this past weekend in Jacksonville — and the consensus is that it wasn’t good — put it in the rearview mirror. That was the final dress rehearsal before the season opener, as Chip Kelly will rest his starters Thursday in the final preseason game.

“Our starters will not play, although in the secondary we may have to have one or two just because of the injuries at that point in time,” Kelly said Monday.

Nick Foles and Matt Barkley will take the majority of snaps at quarterback. Mike Vick will not play.

“Nick [Foles] is going to start, and then Nick and Matt [Barkley] will get the predominant amount of snaps,” Kelly said. “We’ll try to get Dennis [Dixon] and G.J. [Kinne] in late. But Nick will start, and Nick and Matt will get the predominant amount of snaps.”

Kelly has seen enough out of his offense. The team will turn its attention squarely on the defense against the Jets. The coach admitted that he is a little concerned about the secondary, which has been riddled with injuries and generally hasn’t looked good through three preseason games.

Safety Patrick Chung has been the only player impressive enough to earn the night off. Nate Allen and Earl Wolff are competing for the second safety spot. Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher are the projected starting corners, but injuries to Curtis Marsh and Brandon Hughes will likely force them into action Thursday.

“We are concerned. With three of those guys going out, that’s where postgame on Thursday will be a big day in terms of what becomes available,” Kelly said. “But our whole thought is we’ve got to play with what we’ve got. So that is a concern when you have three guys at the same position out right now.”

The final game is sometimes meaningless, except for players on the bubble. For the Eagles, with final cuts due Saturday, this one actually carries extra weight. There are many evaluations left and tough decisions for the coaching staff in the coming days.

“I think safety is one, because we’re probably going to have to cut again at that position,” Kelly said. “Tight end is a position that I think of strength for us in terms of who we’re going to release. Offensive line and defensive line, I think are probably the biggest ones in terms of quality football players that we’re probably not going to be able to keep.”


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