Eagles Likely Only Activating 5 Defensive Ends On Sunday

August 30, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy (14) runs away from pressure by Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham (54) at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

One of the strengths of this Eagles defense is the depth at defensive line. While their starting four might not be as dominant as the New York Giants, we all saw last night that the Giants line wore down by the end of the night because of the lack of depth.

The Eagles are clearly trying to prevent that this year by keeping 10 defensive linemen. That will keep the team fresh throughout the season, but it will also provide for some tough decisions each week as to who to have active.

According to Juan Castillo, the Eagles are likely only going to activate 5 of the 6 defensive ends on the roster, meaning someone is going to be the odd man out.

Assuming the Eagles go ahead and only activate 5 defensive ends on Sunday vs the Cleveland Browns, chances are that rookie Vinny Curry will be the lone inactive. Curry has not been disappointing during preseason, but he has not stood out to the point where the Eagles have to get him on the field. The only other long-shot possibility would be Brandon Graham, but since he has had an impressive preseason the chances are extremely thin it will be him.

As for the players who will play, Castillo says fans can expect to see the line in heavy rotation.

"I think there is going to be a rotation. There’s really a couple different groups that [defensive line coach Jim] Wash[burn] has. He has the regular first and second down guys and he’s got the third down rush guys. I think what you’ll see is [defensive tackle] Cullen [Jenkins] lined up at various positions."

It will be interesting to see how much Jason Babin plays considering this is his first game back from his injury. Castillo said that Babin will be in and out so much with the rotation of players that he is not concerned about the amount of reps he gets.

But if the game gets out of hand early- which many people predict will happen- it will be a good opportunity to get Babin out of the game and some of the younger players more reps.

As for the defensive tackles, it's likely that all four players- Cullen Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Derek Landri and Cedric Thornton- will dress, although Castillo would not commit to it.

Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks

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