Nick Sirianni didn’t dive too deep into his plan for playing the Philadelphia Eagles’ starters in the first preseason game. The head coach merely said that we can “expect everybody to play for the most part.”
But now we have a better idea of how long we can expect to see the first team units, thanks to Derrick Gunn:
Eagles starters will play a series or two tonight …— Derrick Gunn (@RealDGunn) August 12, 2021
“A series or two” is exactly what we were guessing we’d see. The Eagles have taken a conservative approach in the form of shorter practices so it would be incongruent to see them playing their starters deep into preseason games.
That said, not everyone in the NFL is operating similarly. The Kansas City Chiefs, for example, are expected to play their starters for the entire first quarter. At least, that’s what old friend Andy Reid indicated. There seems to be a little bit of a feeling-out process with the new preseason schedule that only consists of three games instead of four.
The guess here is that we won’t see much of the Eagles’ starters in the preseason this summer. They’re only getting a series or two tonight and I don’t suddenly see that ramping up in the next two weeks. The team has joint training camp practices with the New England Patriots and the New York Jets coming up so they’ll likely cite those scrimmages as to why they can take it easy on the starters in the preseason games.
One can raise concerns about ‘rust’ but the reality is that avoiding major injuries is the most important preseason development.