The Philadelphia Eagles play their first NFL preseason game of the 2014 season on Friday night in Chicago against the Bears. As is expected in preseason games, however, the team's starters won't be playing for very long.
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly noted that the Eagles first team unit will only be on the field for about 10 to 15 snaps. That number isn't set in stone, as Kelly noted, but it's a good estimate.
"It really depends on, offensively or defensively, how much success you have," Kelly explained. "If you have a couple three and outs, you got to go back out there. If you have two decent drives, we feel like that’s what we’re aiming for right now. It’s a fluid situation."
Nothing too surprising here. The first preseason game is a good chance to give the starters a quick taste of action before quickly sidelining them for the rest of the game in order to prevent injury. This also ensures that the backup players fighting for playing time and/or roster spots get their chance to stand out on film. And as I (semi-) joked on Twitter, less reps for the starters means... MORE JORDAN MATTHEWS.
The Eagles also like to pull their starters quickly so they get a chance to see their backup units against an opposing team's starters. Defensive coordinator Billy Davis hinted at this earlier in the week.
"The goal of the preseason games is to get great evaluation of the players so that when we pick our team, we pick it correctly," Davis said. "So the rotation, sometimes we get some veterans out early so we can see if the 2s can handle their 1s and you've got to try to match up to where you know what they are doing and you're doing at the end of the day, the goal is to evaluate correctly our team, so for our 16-game season we have got the right guys and that will be the goal."
Speaking of veterans, Kelly noted that wide receiver Riley Cooper (foot) and Nolan Carroll (groin/hamstring) are unlikely to play. Kelly said he was unsure about the status of Jeremy Maclin (leg soreness). Complete Eagles injury report to come later.
Reminder that the Eagles' game in Chicago against the Bears begins at 8 PM EST on Friday, August 8th 2014. The game can be viewed locally on 6ABC.