Making Sense Of the Eagles’ Inactives

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The following Eagles are inactive for today’s game against the Cardinals: QB Matt Barkley, WR Brad Smith, DB Jaylen Watkins, RB Darren Sproles, center Jason Kelce, OL Dennis Kelly and DL Taylor Hart.

The big name there is obviously Sproles. The veteran running back suffered an MCL injury in the Eagles’ win over the Giants a couple weeks ago. His absence means Chris Polk will back up LeSean McCoy. Polk has been dealing with a hamstring injury but appears to be good to go. Trey Burton will be the third running back used in emergency situations.

Jeremy Maclin is expected to return punts for Sproles, although Josh Huff could also be an option.

Meanwhile, Mychal Kendricks makes his return from a calf injury he suffered in Week 2 against the Indianapolis Colts. Kendricks was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report, but is expected to start alongside DeMeco Ryans. Both Casey Matthews and Emmanuel Acho are active. They could be called on to fill in if Kendricks doesn’t feel right. Rookie Marcus Smith II has continued to practice with the inside linebackers. He will dress as well.

Kelce was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report, but he won’t dress. There is a chance he could be ready to go next week against the Houston Texans. The Eagles will start the same offensive line for the third consecutive week. From left to right: Jason Peters, Matt Tobin, David Molk, Todd Herremans and Lane Johnson. The two backups are Andrew Gardner (tackle) and Julian Vandervelde (G/C).

The Eagles have five wide receivers active: Maclin, Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews, Jeff Maehl and Huff. All four tight ends – Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, James Casey, Burton – will dress.

For the Cardinals, defensive lineman Calais Campbell (knee) was listed as questionable, but he’ll be active, giving Arizona a boost up front.