A couple weeks ago, the coaches approached the Cardinals game assuming the offense would be just fine operating as it usually does. They tried little things to help Demetress Bell and Dallas Reynolds, who were making their first starts of the season. But overall, Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg believed this offense could still score points by hitting on big plays down the field in the passing game.
After a 27-6 loss, though, it appears they’ve made some significant changes the past two weeks.
Andy Reid was vague when discussing his left tackle situation Wednesday. King Dunlap is back practicing after sitting out the last two games with a hamstring strain. Closer to when the injury first occurred, it appeared the job would go back to Dunlap when he was healthy. Bell has made progress since then, however, and the coaching staff was pleased with his performance against the Giants.
All things being equal, who is the starter?
A left tackle in Demetress Bell who was making his first start of the season – someone who was struggling so badly two weeks ago that he didn’t even dress for the opener against the Browns. A center in Dallas Reynolds who was making his first career start and had been on the practice squad for the previous three seasons. A quarterback in Michael Vick who had six interceptions and three fumbles in the first three games.
And a coaching staff that would likely ignore many of those issues, deciding instead to focus on hitting on big plays downfield.
Here are 10 things to know about the matchup between the Eagles’ offense and the Cardinals’ defense Sunday afternoon. If you missed the first cheat sheet, which focused on the Eagles’ D and Arizona’s offense, click here.
King Dunlap and Riley Cooper are also out. Everyone else practiced and should be ready to go, per Andy Reid.
Maclin re-injured his hip against the Ravens last week. He practiced in a limited capacity Thursday but shut it down on Friday.
By the sounds of it, rookie Damaris Johnson has been bumped up to take Maclin’s place.
Andy Reid said that it “will be a stretch” for King Dunlap to be ready for the Cardinals. Dunlap suffered a hamstring strain against the Ravens and will not practice Wednesday. Reid indicated he could be sidelined through Friday, opening the door for Bell to likely get his first start in an Eagles uniform.
When the Eagles travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns in Week 1, King Dunlap is expected to start at left tackle.
Andy Reid said today that Dunlap has earned the nod over Demetress Bell and likely will sit with the rest of the starters Thursday night in the preseason finale against the Jets.