The Eagles are in Indianapolis to take on the Colts in the third preseason game with kickoff set for 7 PM. Fans can watch the game on NBC10 or listen on SportsRadio 94WIP. PhiladelphiaEagles.com will provide live pre- and post-game coverage beginning at 6:30 PM. It will likely be the final chance for the starters to get meaningful snaps in a game situation prior to the regular season opener on September 11 against the Cleveland Browns. With that in mind, here are five key players to watch.
1. WR Dorial Green-Beckham
Outside of rookie standout Paul Turner, the Eagles' wide receivers have had a tough time generating production in the team's passing game. Second-year receiver Dorial Green-Beckham's unique size (6-5, 237 pounds) and strength gleams promising ability, but his first test will be showcasing his understanding of the concepts and packages the coaches have fed him in his first full week of practice with the team. That being said, head coach Doug Pederson insisted that DGB would play some meaningful reps against the Colts.
"Can't tell you how many (or) the number of snaps he'll get, but he'll definitely play and play with the first group," Pederson said.
2. RB Wendell Smallwood
After a strong start to Training Camp, running back Wendell Smallwood is still in the hunt for minutes in the backfield this season. After missing two weeks due to a quad injury, Smallwood suits up for his first date of NFL action against the Colts. Pederson hinted that he's curious to see what the rookie can produce.
"He'll get a good look. This is his first opportunity to play, so we want to make sure that he's ready to go," Pederson stated. "We're going to be smart with it at the same time, but we definitely want to see him get some work in that first half."
The Eagles are officially in Indianapolis for their Saturday matchup against the Colts. Special thanks to American Airlines for getting them there in style!
3. G Stefen Wisniewski
It's no secret that the Eagles are preparing for life without tackle Lane Johnson, who is potentially facing a 10-game suspension to start the regular season. Isaac Seumalo, who has played left guard with the first-team offense in the preseason, was scratched from Saturday's game after sustaining a strained pec muscle during practice. Instead, Stefen Wisniewski will start, something he's done his entire career. In his 77 career NFL games, Wisniewski never came off the bench and he joined Philadelphia this offseason intending to compete for a starting role. Now that the opportunity is here, he'll be looking to make the most of the chance.
4. DE Marcus Smith
The Eagles' 2014 first-round pick hasn't quite lived up to the team's early expectations. After missing the first preseason game with a concussion, Smith made his debut preseason appearance with a big-time sack to end the third quarter last week against the Steelers. With more preseason cuts forthcoming and an already deep Eagles defensive line, can Smith turn heads and build off his success from last week?
5. CB Eric Rowe
With only two games remaining in preseason, a few spots at the cornerback position appear to be up for grabs. Leodis McKelvin, Nolan Carroll and Ron Brooks have received most of the work with the starters. With several cornerbacks still looking to impress Saturday, Eric Rowe's ranking amongst the position group remains unknown. Defensive backs coach Cory Undlin offered positive feedback on the second-year corner.
"I think Eric's bounced back. I mean he's in the mix he's right there with Jalen (Mills), with Denzel (Rice), C.J. (Smith), Randall (Evans) and all those guys. So they're all fighting every day and they know it," Undlin said. "No one is taking anything for granted. As soon as you do that it makes it easier for us to make a decision."