The Eagles have six starters inactive for the regular season finale on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys: running back Jay Ajayi, linebacker Nigel Bradham, defensive end Brandon Graham, defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, safety Rodney McLeod, and cornerback Jalen Mills. Defensive end Derek Barnett, who’s a contributing player but not a starter, is also inactive.
Graham, who has an ankle injury, was the only player declared out for the game. The Eagles-Cowboys game has no playoff implications.
Most of those players are not special teams contributors, which is one of the reasons the Eagles are letting them rest. The Eagles will play their offensive starters, all of whom are active. (Ajayi is the lead running back, but LeGarrette Blount is the listed starter.) The entire offensive line is active, as are all six wide receivers and four running backs. Look for Nate Sudfeld and the reserves to enter the game at some point Sunday, and it could be early if the offense does well in the first quarter. Wendell Smallwood is active for the first time since Nov. 5. Isaac Seumalo could get action at center for the first time in his career.
Should the Eagles consider starting Nate Sudfeld instead of Nick Foles in the playoffs?
- They should start Foles, but he should be on a short leash.
The key player to watch on Sunday is cornerback Sidney Jones, who will play his first game in an Eagles uniform. Jones has been on the non-football injury list all year before he was activated to the 53-man roster on Saturday.
Look for Steven Means to get time at defensive end; Elijah Qualls and Destiny Vaeao to get work at defensive tackle; Nate Gerry and Kamu Grugier-Hill receiving playing time at linebacker; and the young defensive backs other than Mills all getting long looks, too.
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Published: December 31, 2017 — 3:01 AM EST | Updated: December 31, 2017 — 11:54 AM EST
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