Making Sense Of the Eagles’ Inactives

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

HOUSTON — The following Eagles are inactive for today’s game against the Texans: QB Matt Barkley, WR Brad Smith, safety Nate Allen, center Julian Vandervelde, OL Dennis Kelly, LB Marcus Smith and DL Taylor Hart.

Jason Kelce returns and will get the start at center. He’s been sidelined since the Washington game after undergoing sports hernia surgery. Todd Herremans will attempt to play with a torn biceps at right guard. The Eagles’ start offensive line will be: Jason Peters, Matt Tobin, Kelce, Herremans and Lane Johnson.

The backups will be David Molk (C/G) and Andrew Gardner (G/T).

At safety, Earl Wolff will get the start in place of Allen, who suffered a hamstring injury against the Texans. If Wolff plays well, he could steal the starting job. But the coaching staff has not shown a lot of confidence in him up to this point.

The Eagles also get RB Darren Sproles back from an MCL injury. Sproles missed last week’s game against Arizona.

Smith continues to be a complete non-factor as a rookie. He was active last week, but did not play any snaps. Smith has been getting reps at inside linebacker, but has not had a role on special teams. He has been inactive twice and has twice dressed without playing any snaps.

This will be the second game back for Mychal Kendricks. He played only in dime last week, but should see an increased role.

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

For the Texans, OLB Jadeveon Clowney and inside linebacker Brian Cushing are both inactive.