With third-year cornerback and special teams stalwart Brandon Hughes ruled out for Sunday's game against the 49ers, the Eagles could activate one of their two rookie defensive backs - safety Jaiquawn Jarrett or corner Curtis Marsh. Both players, however, know that they have to treat this week like any other and prepare as if they will be called upon to play.
Marsh, who looked very promising in the preseason, is getting the opportunity to learn from the most talented group of cornerbacks in the entire league. The Eagles have three Pro Bowl players, a veteran slot corner and an experienced special teams contributor ahead of him on the depth chart.
"I know this week I'm a lot more likely to be active, with Brandon out. It's always tough to sit on the sidelines when you think you could be helping the team. As a competitor you always want to be out there, but you just have to realize that we have a common goal, to win, and that the coaches are using the guys that give them the best chance to win," Marsh said. "I'm just going to sit back and learn from these guys and wait my turn."
Like Marsh, Jarrett is stuck in a numbers game at his potion, with three veterans who have starting experience and the team's most productive special teams player ahead of him. The second-round pick out of Temple is looking to show coaches that he deserves playing time moving forward.
"It would be a great feeling to have the opportunity to get out there and help my team and contribute as much as possible," said the rookie safety. "I'm not quite sure (whether I will play). I just try to make sure that I'm paying attention and am playing with a lot of energy when I'm out there with the team."
According to head coach Andy Reid, Jarrett has the edge over Marsh this week.
"We gave both Jaiquawn and Curtis some extra reps in practice, today," Reid said on Friday. "Jarrett got a bit more work than Marsh did, but I'll just sees how it goes."
Regardless of which player (if either) is activated, it'll be an opportunity for coaches to get an idea of what they have in two of their top-three selections from this year's draft. Because of the excess of depth in the Eagles secondary, this may be one of the few chances these two players get this season. It will be up to them to make the most of it.
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