When the Eagles travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars this evening, writers will have their pick of eye-catching headlines, even if it is just the preseason. Nick Foles (who won’t play), Cody Kessler (who will play a lot) and Malik Jackson (who will play some) face off against their former teams. Eagles fans may very well get their first sight of Desean Jackson, Paul Worrilow and newest Eagle Eli Harold in midnight green, and starters along the offensive line — and maybe even Mack Hollins and Corey Clement — might take some snaps as well. For a long list of things to keep out for, check out Liam Jenkins’ preview below:
For those of you looking for other interesting storylines to keep your eyes peeled, there are a few overlooked pieces to the puzzle as well. With certain players and position battles getting all the preseason pomp — the quarterbacks, the rookies — some key names could go unnoticed.
C Keegan Render
Stefen Wisnieski was not good snapping the football last Thursday. While his versatility as a backup swing guard makes him nearly indefensible to the team, and Isaac Seumalo experience at center should put the powers that be on offense at ease, the Eagles will likely look for a center to keep on the practice squad as a last resort option. With a good showing, Render could carve out a path for himself to cement that spot. Otherwise, there should be plenty of available options on the waivers after teams make their final cuts.
RB Jordan Howard
The preseason is generally for the players fighting to make the last handful of roster spots and rookies to have some game time minutes before the start of the season. Likewise, LJ mentioned the fierce running back battle happening at the bottom of the chart, but what about at the top? New addition Jordan Howard wasn’t on the field for long against the Titans (9 offensive snaps), but was still able to give a glimpse of how he will fit in this offense. Even with a second-team offensive line, we got a small taste of how Howard’s patient and forceful running style will pair with both the offensive scheme and the ultra-athletic offensive line. That being said, three carries for eight yards isn’t much and left us all wanting more.
The fact that the new recruit suited up when a majority of the starters got the night off means the Eagles plan on giving him every opportunity to acclimate to the offense before the season gets into full swing. He should get more run as the preseason goes on. The Birds face two very good defensive schemes in Jacksonville and Baltimore and a few big plays from Howard could ensure him a good amount of carries early on in the season. The hope is that with a rotation of running backs, fresh legs will mean more explosiveness out of Howard’s game. Nevertheless, if he can’t muster more than three yards per carry, there will be a lot of people hopping on the Miles Sanders train early.
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Mandatory Photo Credit: Matt Patterson via AP