The Eagles are 2-0 and riding high after a big win over the Minnesota Vikings. It is easy to feel good about the team and coaching staff heading into a week three match with a vulnerable Washington Commanders team. That being said, there are still some questions about the rookies ahead of Sunday’s showdown.
Does Jordan Davis retain his role?
Jordan Davis saw a bigger workload against the Vikings than he did the week prior. The rookie nose tackle did not log a stat in the Monday night game, but made a clear impact taking up space and creating opportunities for his fellow defenders in the front seven.
Will Davis see a similarly big workload against Washington?
The 1-1 Commanders clearly have their problems, but scoring points has not been one of them. Washington has put up 28 and 27 points in the last two weeks and shown explosive potential in the passing game with seven touchdowns coming through the air. The Eagles might prioritize slowing down the passing game, so that leaves into question what kind of playing time Davis gets when conventional wisdom slots him in as a run defender.
Sunday’s game should give everyone a great idea of how they see Davis at this stage in his career.
Is there room for Nakobe Dean on this defense?
Nakobe Dean has seen single digit snaps on defense over the last two weeks combined. Hard to imagine back in spring that Dean would be a backup on any defense in the NFL, let alone a team that was so linebacker-starved as the Eagles.
The new reality is that the Eagles have a fine group of linebackers between TJ Edwards, Kyzir White and Haason Reddick. Jonathan Gannon clearly wants dependable veterans in the middle of the defense instead of taking chances on a rookie, no matter how talented that rookie might be.
These things can always change, Dean can work his way into the lineup over the course of the season with strong practices. His skill set fits well into the new defensive philosophy of versatility and aggressiveness. However, there just doesn’t seem to be much room for him to get meaningful snaps at this point.
Washington’s offense is different from Minnesota’s which was different from Detroit’s and Gannon seems intent on crafting lineups and snap counts to the nature of the opponent. So maybe there is something about what Washington wants to do on offense that could get Dean on the field more.