There are well-known names that fans and analysts alike will have an eye on throughout the contest. Starters who are looking to take hold of their position, backups who are on the precipice of reaching greater heights, and newcomers are all looking to make their mark.
There are some lesser-known players expected to get time today that could very well have prominent roles on the roster in under a month.
Here’s a list of the top underdogs to watch for in tonight’s Eagles game.
Blankenship is an undrafted safety who has turned heads in camp for his physicality and closing ability. In Jonathan Gannon’s defense, a strong game today could go a long way into helping the former Middle Tennessee State phenom make the Eagles roster.
Blankenship will probably be placed with K’Von Wallace as the second-string safety group for the Eagles. With the starters reportedly playing a series or two, we should expect both Blankenship and Wallace to play a ton once Marcus Epps and Anthony Harris are done for the day.
The Eagles aren’t very deep at defensive end this year. With the addition of Haason Reddick, the need for a backup to Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat isn’t as important as it was in past seasons. Still, the sixth-round selection out of Coastal Carolina showed some sparks last season. I wouldn’t expect Graham to play much, if at all with him being one of the oldest Eagles.
It really will be a big day for Jackson. He’s shown some more flashes in camp this year, but if he can produce and make a couple of big plays, he would be in line for more playing time on the Eagles’ official roster. Not only would he be a solid candidate to make the 53-man roster, but he would also be in line to be a major contributor to a team that needs someone to step up on the edge.
A massive game for Covey. The undrafted return specialist out of Utah has been excellent in camp this year as both a receiver and returner. Competing for a roster spot with Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, and others, Covey needs a big game to help solidify his chances of making the team.
He also is going to be used a lot today. No matter who the quarterback is, it’s clear we won’t see a lot of AJ Brown or any of Davonta Smith. It’s a prime opportunity for a slot receiver like Covey to make his mark in a game like this.
Jalen Hurts may be the quarterback that everyone is talking about, but there is another signal-caller that has turned heads in camp. With Gardner Minshew struggling mightily in camp, Reid Sinnett has taken the reigns and played really well. He’s even gone so far as to take second-team reps from Minshew.
While Sinnett is in a position battle with Carson Strong, he’s clearly shown the command needed to be a backup quarterback. Sinnett could make this extremely interesting with a strong performance tonight. Especially if Minshew struggles again.
The SAM Linebackers
Patrick Johnson and Kyron Johnson both are competing for the backup role behind Haason Reddick. Should either player be expected to see much of the field this season? Absolutely not.
A strong preseason game for either could give that player a fast track to making the 53-man roster. Jonathan Gannon wants to use different defensive fronts and confuse opposing quarterbacks. One way to have that happen is using their SAM linebacker everywhere. The defense is planning to do that with Reddick, but whoever can stand out tonight could very well be his backup by Monday.
Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire