The 12 Eagles players most affected by canceled preseason

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Defense

CB | Craig James

A hero in 2019 — making the biggest play of his life on just the third snap of his career — James may be on the outside looking in this year. While he has all the makings of a good rotational NFL corner, he is suddenly in a crowded room at the corner position. On paper, it looks as if the decision would come down to James, Rasul Douglas or Cre’Von Leblanc. Earlier in the season, there were whispers that Douglas may not be with the team come September. As of now, it looks like those murmurs have been put to rest. Both Douglas and Leblanc have extensive time on field with the Eagles and James will face an uphill battle beating either of them for a roster spot.

DE | Joe Ostman

Ostman’s promising offseason was cut short due to injury last year and this year he looked primed to jostle for position in a large group of young, intriguing DE candidates. However, without any preseason games, he will have a difficult time mounting a case against players like Daeshon Hall and Genard Avery, who already have regular-season games with the Eagles under their belt. It may have been a long shot, but the coaching staff seems to be high on Ostman, who may get the short end of the stick yet again in 2020.

DT | Bruce Hector

Always seemingly on the cusp of being a regular roster feature, 2020 might be Hector’s last hurrah on the Eagles final-53. With the addition of Javon Hargrave and with Malik Jackson and Hasaan Ridgeway returning from injury, Hector finds himself in a very crowded position group. He should have the inside track on the other hopefuls, but his major battle will be convincing the coaching staff it’s worth keeping five defensive tackles — a difficult proposition.

LB |Alex Singleton

A PSN favorite and special teams ace, Singleton looked to be putting himself in a position to compete for a roster spot in 2020. Then the Eagles drafted two LBs, added Jatavis Brown, and began puffing up Duke Riley as the shoo-in for the nickel ‘backer role. Brown and Singleton both figure to eek onto the roster as specialists, but with the former’s NFL experience, it will be difficult for Singleton to surpass him. If they are to keep a bevy of linebackers on the roster, the Eagles will likely decide to give their third-round pick Davion Taylor the first shot at playing experience. Singleton hasn’t lost any special teams value, but the preseason was his opportunity to show his growth as a possible backup on the defensive side of the football.

S | Elijah Riley

Both Grayland Arnold and Riley could be listed in this spot. Both are UDFA corners that will look to make the switch to a more position-less safety role with the Eagles. Thrown into a large overhaul of the Eagles secondary, it is difficult to put a finger on either player’s shot at making the final roster. However, it seems as, as of today, Arnold will have the upper hand. Riley may be the more physical player, but Arnold’s football IQ will be imperative considering the shortened offseason and lack of preseason games.

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