8/31: Eagles Cut Tracker

If you’re looking for information on Friday’s cuts, click here.

We’ll have updates on all of the action today right here, so keep checking back and refreshing this page.

Update: The Eagles’ roster is down to 53.

Chris McCoy, OLB – The outside linebacker played well in the preseason finale against the Jets, but that wasn’t enough to earn him a roster spot. His release is somewhat surprising because the team now only has three outside linebackers on the roster in Connor Barwin, Trent Cole and Brandon Graham.

Travis Long, OLB – He was another outside linebacker who had a shot. The Eagles added him to the roster this summer, but he didn’t stick either.

Greg Salas, WR – His release was a surprise. The Eagles decided to go with Jeff Maehl instead of him for the fifth and final wide receiver spot. I had both Salas and Shepard making the roster, but in the end, both were released.

Matthew Tucker, RB – His only shot was as the Eagles’ fourth running back, but the team decided it only needs three for now: LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown and Chris Polk. Tucker was an undrafted free agent out of TCU and failed his conditioning test initially in the spring. He could be a practice squad option.

Danny Watkins, OG – The former first-round pick is being released, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Watkins started 18 games in two seasons with the Eagles and never performed consistently at a high level. Chip Kelly did not provide much of an endorsement when asked about Watkins Thursday night. And he got passed over on the depth chart by veteran Allen Barbre. We’ll have more on Watkins in a separate post.

Clay Harbor, TE – Kelly gave him a shot to show he could play tight end and wide receiver. But apparently, in the end, there wasn’t a place for Harbor.

A fourth-round pick in 2010, Harbor had 47 catches for 421 yards in three NFL seasons with the Eagles.

Russell Shepard, WR – He was definitely on the bubble, and apparently Shepard didn’t show the Eagles enough this summer to warrant a roster spot.

An undrafted free agent with upside and special-teams chops, Shepard has a chance to make the practice squad.

Michael Bamiro, OT – The Eagles have cut the developmental right tackle, according to the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane. Bamiro (6-8, 340) joined the team in mid-July. He has an intriguing physical skill set, but didn’t look ready to contribute this year. Bamiro could end up on the Eagles’ practice squad.

His release was good news for undrafted free agent Matt Tobin, who ended up making the squad.

David Sims, S – The team has let the veteran safety go, according to Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com. Sims joined the squad before the opener last offseason and saw action on defense/special teams. He went from working as a trash collector to earning a spot in the NFL. Now Sims will try to continue his career with another team.

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Eagles Wake-Up Call: Assessing the Safety Situation

Earl WolffHowie Roseman stood on the field at Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. and was perfectly honest about the difficulties he’d had in finding players at one specific position.

“To me, that’s the hardest position to evaluate in college football is safeties,” Roseman said back in January at the Senior Bowl. “The guys that used to be the most explosive athletes and were playing in the back end, they’re going to play corner because they feel like maybe at corner, they can play 10 years. You look at the franchise tag numbers, the corner position is higher than the safety position. That is going to be the constant struggle. When you talk to people around the league, it’s hard to find safeties.”

Roseman wasn’t lying. And Sunday’s release of Kenny Phillips served as just another reminder of how this franchise has struggled to address the safety position since it lost Brian Dawkins back in 2009.

That year, Quintin Mikell, Macho Harris, Sean Jones and Quintin Demps all saw snaps. Mikell was easily the best of the group.

In 2010, it was Mikell, Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson and Jamar Adams.

2011? Coleman, Allen, Jarrad Page and Jaiquawn Jarrett.

And last year, Coleman, Allen, Anderson and David Sims.

Eleven guys in four seasons. None good enough to be penciled in to the starting lineup in 2013.

The position has changed, as teams expect versatility from their safeties. The athleticism and cover skills to match up with slot receivers. The size to take on tight ends, play the run and be an enforcer over the middle. The speed to play center field and serve as the last line of defense.

Teams around the league are having trouble finding suitable options, so it’s unlikely the Eagles find legitimate help when cuts are made in the next week. There’s been a little buzz about Bills safety Jairus Byrd, but it still seems unlikely that he gets dealt. Byrd is reportedly looking to become the highest-paid safety in the league.

On the current roster, it looks like Patrick Chung will start at one spot. Nate Allen is the favorite to run with Chung, but he’s entrenched firmly in “believe it when we see it” territory. Allen has shown little this summer to suggest he’s suddenly ready to make the leap.

Rookie Earl Wolff rotated in with Allen on Saturday, but might not be ready. If the coaches feel the competition is close, Wolff could get the nod. Or he could get a shot later in the season.

Chip Kelly has placed an emphasis on special teams, and Colt Anderson is the team’s best special-teams player. That should be enough to earn him a roster spot. Kurt Coleman isn’t a bad backup option, but he’s on the bubble. And David Sims is likely a longshot.

Another year where fans will likely watch on Sundays and hope for an offseason upgrade. There’s a good possibility that next January in Mobile, Roseman will be answering the same question once again.

WHAT YOU MISSED

The Eagles cut Phillips and Jamar Chaney yesterday.

The Birds also let 10 other players go.

The No-22 breakdown of what we saw from the offense vs. Jacksonville.

Good stuff from T-Mac on why the offense looked different.

Kelly said the Eagles were their own worst enemy Saturday.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Things do not look good for former Eagle Kevin Kolb:

 

Tommy Lawlor of IgglesBlitz.com offers some day-after thoughts on Michael Vick’s performance:

One of the areas where Vick made things worse is his desire for bigger chunks of yards. I re-watched the 1st quarter last night and there were several chances for him to check the ball down. Vick instead threw the ball to intermediate targets. There is no question that Vick was holding onto the ball longer last night. Maybe Vick wanted to put on a show after being named the starter. I don’t know. He needs to back to the previous games and play within himself and within the offense. Keep the ball moving and the chunk plays will come.

COMING UP

We’ll hear from Kelly and check out practice at the Linc.

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Eagles Depth Chart Outlook: Safeties

This is the first in a series. Throughout the next week or two, we’ll take a position-by-position look at the Eagles’ roster. Today, we start with the safeties.

There was no big splash, but the Eagles made significant moves at safety this offseason with the hopes that a pair of high-quality starters will emerge.

In free agency, they signed ex-Patriots starter Patrick Chung and former Giants first-round pick Kenny Phillips.

Howie Roseman raved about this year’s safety class before the draft. The Eagles didn’t make a move for one of the big names in the early rounds, but they grabbed N.C. State’s Earl Wolff in the fifth.

Returning from last year’s roster are Nate Allen, Kurt Coleman, Colt Anderson and David Sims.

Here’s a complete look at the roster (alphabetical order):

 
Height
Weight
Age
Years/Starts
Nate Allen6-1210253/38
Colt Anderson5-10194273/6
Patrick Chung5-11210254/29
Kurt Coleman5-11195243/29
Kenny Phillips6-2217265/41
David Sims5-10210262/1
Earl Wolff5-11209230/0

Pencil ‘em in: Chung, Wolff, Anderson.

If I had to pick one safety from this group as the most likely starter, it would be Chung. He had a down 2012 season and was benched by Bill Belichick, but he has shown in the past that he’s a starting-caliber player. The Eagles signed him with the belief in that upside.

Wolff was a fifth-round pick and is the most athletic of the group. His 4.44 40 time is the second-fastest among safety prospects in the past three years, and Wolff was a three-year starter at N.C. State. I expect him to get a chance to compete for a starting job right away.

Safety is a tricky position. You can’t put someone back there who doesn’t know what he’s doing because mistakes turn into game-changing plays. So Wolff will have to prove himself worthy of playing time. But given the current makeup of the roster, he has a chance to be an immediate contributor.

Anderson, meanwhile, is the team’s best special teams player. Kelly has given strong indications that special teams will be a major consideration in determining roster spots. For those reasons, I feel comfortable penciling Anderson in.

Fighting for spots: Phillips, Allen, Coleman, Sims.

Phillips is an X-factor. If 100 percent healthy, he’s probably the best safety on the team. Actually, at 80 percent, he might be the best safety on the team. But remember, Phillips agreed to join the Eagles for no guaranteed money. That tells me he didn’t have a lot of other options. It’s hard to believe Phillips is only 26-years-old. His health and effectiveness will be a key storyline to monitor this offseason.

Allen and Coleman are fighting for jobs. It’s as simple as that. Allen is a former second-round pick, but at the end of last year, the coaching staff felt it was better served having Coleman and Anderson on the field instead of him. That is telling. Not all of Allen’s struggles are related to injuries, either. By all accounts, the 25-year-old is a hard worker and a good teammate, but he just hasn’t been productive. Nothing’s out of the question with Allen. He could be starting in Week 1. Or he could be out of a job.

As for Coleman, he’s an option to fill out the roster as a backup. The fourth-year pro doesn’t seem to have the measurables Kelly is looking for. On the flip side, Nnamdi Asomugha is no longer around to blame Coleman for every big play. He has an outside shot of winning a starting job, but Coleman’s best chance at sticking is probably as a reserve/special-teams player.

Sims making the roster would be an upset, barring injuries to the guys ahead of him.

Bottom line? Phillips, Allen and Coleman are likely fighting for one or two spots, depending on whether Chip Kelly keeps four or five safeties.

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The Eagles’ Safety Options In Free Agency

Howie Roseman offered an honest assessment earlier this offseason when asked about the Eagles’ struggles in identifying talent at the safety position.

“To me, that’s the hardest position to evaluate in college football is safeties,” Roseman said. “The guys that used to be the most explosive athletes and were playing in the back end, they’re going to play corner because they feel like maybe at corner, they can play 10 years. You look at the franchise tag numbers, the corner position is higher than the safety position. That is going to be the constant struggle. When you talk to people around the league, it’s hard to find safeties.”

The Eagles have tried and failed to fill the void left by Brian Dawkins for four seasons, bringing in guys like Nate Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett and Jarrad Page, to name a few. Now they face another offseason looking for safety help.

The truth is, the position is changing. Teams are now looking for hybrid-type players who can line up opposite tight ends and slot receivers, play centerfield when necessary and also sneak down in the box to play the run (or the read option).

Take a glance at “offseason needs” articles around the league, and you’re going to see plenty of teams in the market for safety help.

For the Eagles, the search continues next week with the start of the free agency period (March 12). Currently on the roster are Allen, Kurt Coleman and David Sims. Allen, a second-round pick in 2010, has been a disappointment. Counting on him to take some kind of leap into a quality starter would be a mistake. The plan should be to keep him in the mix and see if he surprises.

Coleman has been given several opportunities to seize a starting job, but he is physically limited and would be better utilized in a backup role. And Sims has one career start under his belt. Colt Anderson, meanwhile, is a restricted free agent. He’s an elite special teams player, but not the answer to the team’s safety woes.

The good news is that the Eagles will have options to fill their needs in free agency and the draft. This year’s group of safety prospects is considered deep and talented. But as we’ve seen in years past, going into the draft searching for specific needs can lead to mistakes.

And this is not an either/or situation. The Eagles should look to identify young safety talent in free agency and address the position if possible in the draft. As we wrote about on Sunday, the Birds are in good cap shape and could be in position to take advantage of a market where the supply might very well out-weigh the demand.

NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal has a list out of the top 85 free agents, and it contains eight safeties (not including Buffalo’s Jairus Byrd, who was franchised). Below is a breakdown.

 
Age
Ht.
Wt.
Games Started
Dashon Goldson, SF286-220064
William Moore, ATL276-022138
Ed Reed, BAL345-11205159
Glover Quin, HOU276-020760
Kenny Phillips, NYG266-221741
LaRon Landry, NYJ286-022079
Louis Delmas, DET255-1120249
Charles Woodson, GB366-1202203

Dashon Goldson – He’s the guy readers seem to be asking about the most, and it’s easy to understand why. Goldson has made the Pro Bowl in each of the past two seasons, is durable (has made 62 of a possible 64 starts the past four seasons) and is a versatile play-maker (nine interceptions, two forced fumbles the past two seasons).

He’ll turn 29 in September. That’s not exactly old, but teams will have to determine how many more years of top-level production Goldson has in him. That’s where the Eagles should have an advantage with Tom Gamble, who spent seven years in the 49ers’ front office.

Given the league-wide need at safety, the market for Goldson should be competitive, and he could be in line for a big pay-day. One NFL team official told Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Goldson is looking for $8 million per season. The 49ers have until 4 p.m. today to use the franchise tag on Goldson for the second consecutive year, but according to multiple reports, they’re not going to go that route.

William Moore – He’s been a three-year starter for the Falcons and has 11 interceptions to go along with five forced fumbles the past three seasons. Moore ran a 4.51 at the Combine back in 2009. As a point of reference, only three safeties this year had a faster time.

The issue with Moore has been health. He’s missed eight games the past two seasons – four in 2012 because of a hamstring injury. The Falcons could still choose to tag him. Atlanta also recently cut ties with several veterans and could look to lock up Moore to a long-term deal.

Ed Reed – Given his age and the state of the Eagles, I don’t see this as a fit for either side.

Charles Woodson – Ditto.

Glover Quin – Like Moore, he could still get the tag. A four-year starter, he hasn’t missed a game since 2009 (his rookie season). Quin made the switch from cornerback to safety before the 2011 season, so there’s reason to believe he still has plenty of room for improvement at his new position. Given the way the league is trending, the ability to cover is at the top of the list of requirements for safeties, which makes Quin’s background intriguing. The Battle Red Blog published a good post about Quin’s versatility too, pointing to his 10-tackle performance against the Vikings in which Adrian Peterson averaged just 3.4 yards per carry.

Kenny Phillips – Eagles fans are familiar with Phillips, a first-round pick by the Giants in 2008. Age and production are non-issues with Phillips. The key is his health. He battled an MCL injury last season and only played in seven games. If healthy, he figures to have great upside, but that appears to be a serious if at this point.

LaRon Landry – Coming off an Achilles’ injury in 2011, Landry got a one-year “prove it” deal from the Jets. After playing in just 17 games his final two years with the Redskins, Landry played in all 16 in 2012 and made his first Pro Bowl, coming up with a pair of interceptions and four forced fumbles. Considering he’s 28 and coming off his first 16-game season since 2008, Landry could be looking to cash in.

Louis Delmas - Speaking of “prove it” deals, that’s what Delmas might have to settle for. If health wasn’t a concern, the Lions would almost definitely lock Delmas up to a long-term deal. The former second-round pick (2009) turns 26 in April and is productive when on the field, but knee injuries have been an issue. Delmas has missed 13 of 32 games the last two seasons. Interested teams will have to do their due diligence on him medically, and while the upside is intriguing, counting on Delmas as a starting safety would carry quite a bit of risk.

***

A few other names on the market:

Patrick Chung (Patriots) – His specialty is playing the run, but Chung has been unable to stay healthy, having missed 12 games the past two seasons.

Chris Clemons (Dolphins) – The 27-year-old started 16 games for Miami last year. At 6-0, 208 pounds, he ran a 4.41 coming out of Clemson in 2009 and was drafted in the fifth round.

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All-22: Diagnosing Issues For the Eagles’ Defense

I know many of you don’t care to re-live Monday night’s loss to the Saints, but here are a handful of plays that caught my eye when I watched the All-22 film of their defensive snaps.

Play 1: Trent Cole rarely gets a free shot at the quarterback. But Todd Bowles’ blitz call gave him an opportunity to sack Drew Brees in the first quarter. First, check out the pre-snap look.


The Eagles show six at the line of scrimmage, and the Saints have an empty backfield, meaning someone’s going to be unblocked. The protection slides to the right, leaving Cole with a direct path to the quarterback. There’s no chip, no double team, nothing.


But Brees, as he so often does, is able to create space for himself. He delivers a little pump-fake, gets Cole to rush right past him and slides to his left. The Eagles, meanwhile, have single coverage on all five receivers since they blitzed six. Look at all the space Brees has when he finally gets rid of the ball.


The result is a 38-yard completion to Lance Moore, who was being covered by Brandon Boykin. Boykin was also called for pass interference on the play.

Cole had a pretty active game, but he missed an opportunity here, and the result was a big play.

Play 2: Plenty of blame to go around on the Chris Ivory 22-yard touchdown run. Let’s start with Brandon Graham, who gets caught inside. And Mychal Kendricks, who can’t get off his block.


Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie may have had a shot, but he’s blocked too, as you can see below.


David Sims is the only person with a chance, and he can’t make the tackle.

One more note: Look at where Rodgers-Cromartie still is. This is the fastest guy on the defense. He’s being blocked by 6-1, 184-pound receiver Joseph Morgan. Maybe Morgan delivered a good block. But Rodgers-Cromartie has shown on several occasions that he has little interest in making plays against the run. Not a good showing on this one.

Play 3: Another big run here. The left tackle lets Cole through. But in Jim Washburn’s system, you play the run on the way to the quarterback. Cole has a chance for a tackle for loss.

But since he’s not sure if it’s a run or play-action, he’s just a split-second slow in attacking the ball-carrier, and Thomas sidesteps him.

Meanwhile, the Saints have blocks set up on Kurt Coleman, DeMeco Ryans and Rogers-Cromartie.

Sims hustles to the ball and eventually brings Thomas down after a 19-yard gain.

But look at Rodgers-Cromartie again unable to get off his block. He’s blocked out of bounds when the play is over. Talented cover corner, but not really much of an upgrade over Asante Samuel against the run.

By the way, I don’t think this is a matter of Rodgers-Cromartie quitting. He’s always played like this. The issues just become more obvious when the team is losing and the defense isn’t playing well.

Play 4: Graham did a nice job on the sack/forced fumble in the third, but the coverage was key. Take a look.

Brees wanted to go to the end zone, but the Eagles had Rodgers-Cromartie and Coleman on the lone receiver to that side. Meanwhile, Akeem Jordan did a nice job on the running back in the flat. Graham was able to get to Brees in (unofficially) 2.2 seconds to create the turnover.

Play 5: The Eagles gained some momentum in the third, cutting the lead to 21-13. On the ensuing drive, the Saints faced a 3rd-and-7, and Bowles went with a look we’ve seen multiple times this year with the defensive ends standing up as rush linebackers and the defensive tackles shifting out.

The Eagles often blitz out of this look, but here, they just sent four, and they got zero pressure. Brees had all day to find Moore for a 23-yard completion. Babin got to his feet, but wasn’t able to bring the quarterback down.

Brees had about 3.9 seconds to find his receiver. That’s way too much time, especially in a key third-and-long situation like this.

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Eagles Snap Counts: Babin Still Ahead Of Graham

Here’s a look at snap counts for the Eagles during their Week 9 loss against the Saints. We’ll go position-by-position.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
LeSean McCoy6481%
Stanley Havili1823%
Bryce Brown1114%

LeSean McCoy had one of his best games of the year with 19 carries for 119 yards. For the first time all season, the Eagles kept all four running backs – McCoy, Bryce Brown, Chris Polk and Dion Lewis – active. Lewis did not play at all. Brown played just 11 snaps, but made the most of them with four carries for 49 yards. Polk played special teams only and came up with the forced fumble in the third quarter on kickoff coverage. Stanley Havili played slightly less than normal.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Jeremy Maclin7797%
DeSean Jackson7797%
Jason Avant4456%
Riley Cooper68%
Brent Celek7392%
Clay Harbor2532%

Nothing really noteworthy at wide receiver. Riley Cooper played just six snaps as the team’s fourth wide receiver. Damaris Johnson was active, but did not play offensively.

Celek was involved in both Eagles turnovers. He was probably held on the first one – a Michael Vick interception that bounced off his hand. And Celek fumbled in the fourth quarter with the team trying to stage a late-game comeback. He finished with five catches for 47 yards. Harbor saw his most action since Week 2. He had three catches for 20 yards.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Trent Cole3766%
Jason Babin3359%
Cullen Jenkins3257%
Fletcher Cox2545%
Cedric Thornton2239%
Derek Landri2138%
Brandon Graham2138%
Phillip Hunt1832%
Mike Patterson1527%

Last week, the Jason Babin/Brandon Graham split was 33/31. This week, it was 33/21, as Babin saw significantly more playing time. Each player had a sack/forced fumble. Other than the two sacks, the Eagles were credited with just one hit on Drew Brees.

Mike Patterson saw his first action of the season, playing 15 snaps. Phillip Hunt didn’t play any defensive snaps last week, but filled in for Darryl Tapp (whose wife was giving birth) at right defensive end behind Trent Cole this week.

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
DeMeco Ryans56100%
Mychal Kendricks56100%
Akeem Jordan3562%
Casey Matthews12%

The only thing notable here is that the Eagles were in their base defense with Akeem Jordan on the field for 62 percent of the snaps. Fourteen of Brees’ 21 completions went to tight ends and running backs. The Saints ran 25 times for 140 yards (5.6 YPC).

 
Overall Snaps
Snap %
Nnamdi Asomugha56100%
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie5496%
Brandon Boykin2138%
Curtis Marsh12%
Kurt Coleman56100%
David Sims56100%

David Sims filled in for Nate Allen. He missed a tackle on the Chris Ivory touchdown and got matched up with Jimmy Graham on several occasions. Sims led the Eagles with eight tackles, although many of those were after completed passes.

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Making Sense Of the Eagles’ Inactives

The following players are inactive for the Eagles’ Monday night matchup against the Saints: Trent Edwards, Mardy Gilyard, Darryl Tapp, Danny Watkins, Nate Menkin, Vinny Curry and Nate Allen.

Allen was questionable and didn’t practice on Friday or Saturday because of a hamstring injury. Taking his place will be David Sims, who has never played a defensive snap in the NFL. The Eagles acquired Sims from the Browns before the season, and he has a pretty remarkable story, going from trash man to starting safety against Drew Brees on national TV.

Mike Patterson is active for the first time after undergoing offseason brain surgery. Andy Reid said he’d monitor the defensive tackle’s snaps. Tapp is with his wife for the birth of their first child. Curry has yet to be active this season. Presumably, Brandon Graham and Phillip Hunt will take Tapp’s snaps at right defensive end behind Trent Cole. The Eagles have nine defensive linemen active – five tackles and four ends. Cullen Jenkins has played some DE this season as well.

Watkins is out for the second consecutive week with an ankle injury. Rookie Dennis Kelly once again gets the start. Aside from a couple miscues, he played well against the Falcons.

With Gilyard out, Damaris Johnson is expected to handle punt returns.

For the first time this season, all four Eagles running backs – LeSean McCoy, Dion Lewis, Bryce Brown and Chris Polk - are active. Lewis is active for the second time all season.

The Eagles have two backup offensive linemen – Demetress Bell and Matt Tennant.

Be sure to join me and Tim for a live chat during the game. Kickoff is set for 8:30.

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Eagles-Saints Injury Report

Here is the injury report for Monday night’s game between the Eagles and Saints:

SAINTS

Out 
RB Darren Sproles (hand), WR Courtney Roby (shoulder)

Probable
LB David Hawthorne (hamstring), WR Joe Morgan (chest)

EAGLES

Out 
WR Mardy Gilyard (hamstring), G Danny Watkins (ankle)

Questionable
S Nate Allen (hamstring), DT Cullen Jenkins (knee)

Probable
DB Brandon Boykin (toe), DE Phillip Hunt (calf), LB Mychal Kendricks (trap)

* Note: Allen did not practice Friday or Saturday. He did travel with the team and is considered a game-time decision. David Sims will get the start at safety if Allen can’t go.

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Injury Updates: Allen, Jenkins And Patterson

Nate Allen did not practice again on Saturday because of a hamstring strain and is officially listed as questionable for Monday night’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints. Andy Reid said Allen will travel with the team and be a game-time decision.

If he can’t go, David Sims will get the start. The Eagles acquired Sims from the Browns before the season. He’s never played a defensive snap in the NFL and could be faced with trying to deal with Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense in his first action.

Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins is listed as questionable with a knee injury, but he practiced, and Reid didn’t seem concerned about him possibly being held out.

Mike Patterson, meanwhile, very well could see his first action of the season. Patterson has been practicing with the team all week, and the Eagles have until Sunday at 4 p.m. to make a roster move, although Reid said they would likely make that decision today. If Patterson plays, he’ll likely be eased back in to the defensive line rotation.

Mardy Gilyard and Danny Watkins have both already been ruled out. Damaris Johnson is expected to resume punt-returning duties, and rookie Dennis Kelly will make his second straight start at right guard. Aside from a couple issues, Kelly held his own last week against the Falcons.

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Making Sense of the Eagles’ Inactives

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean JacksonThe following Eagles will be inactive for today’s 1 p.m. home opener against the Ravens: Trent Edwards, Riley Cooper, Dion Lewis, Curtis Marsh, Dennis Kelly, Nate Menkin, Vinny Curry.

The first thing to note is both DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are active. Jackson was dealing with a hamstring injury at practice this week and was questionable. Maclin suffered a hip pointer in last week’s game and was also listed as questionable.

The Eagles have five wide receivers active. In addition to Jackson and Maclin, Jason Avant, Damaris Johnson and Mardy Gilyard will all dress.

The team is keeping just two quarterbacks active: Michael Vick and Nick Foles. At running back, Dion Lewis is inactive for the second week, even though he was not listed on the injury report. Lewis had previously been recovering form a hamstring issue. In addition to LeSean McCoy, rookies Bryce Brown and Chris Polk will both dress. Brown was McCoy’s backup in Week 1.

Interesting note on the offensive line. Demetress Bell, who looked lost in the preseason and was inactive in Week 1, is the team’s backup swing tackle. In the opener, the Eagles gave that responsibility to rookie Dennis Kelly. As usual, the Eagles have two backup offensive linemen. In addition to Bell, Dallas Reynolds is active.

No surprises on the defensive line. Rookie Vinny Curry is inactive for the second straight week.

The Eagles only have four cornerbacks dressing as Curtis Marsh is inactive after suffering a hamstring injury last week against the Browns. Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will start, and Brandon Boykin will play nickel. Brandon Hughes could see action in dime, and he’ll fill in should any of the other three go down.

Some changes at safety too. Colt Anderson is active for the first time since tearing his ACL in Week 13 of the 2011 season against the Seahawks. And David Sims, whom the Eagles acquired from the Browns before Week 1, will also dress. One of them would have to go in should Nate Allen or Kurt Coleman go down.

For the Ravens, outside linebacker Paul Kruger (back) was a bit of a surprise scratch. He had 5.5 sacks and 15.5 hurries last year, according to Football Outsiders.

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