Is Kendricks Starting Job in Jeopardy?
Eagles coach Doug Pederson raised some eyebrows this week by announcing that there’s a chance that linebacker Mychal Kendricks would play in Philadelphia’s preseason finale tonight even though he is listed as a starter.
"There's a chance he plays because he hasn't played all preseason, and we still want to get him those live reps and get him ready for Cleveland," Pederson announced on Monday.
But there is a question as to whether or not Kendricks will remain the starter after tonight's preseason finale especially after we saw Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham out in the nickle package last week in the Colts game - a role that Kendricks had been preforming in in the past.
"He had been out there," Pederson acknowledged. "That's why we wanted to get him some more reps in the base defense. And we haven't really put our plan together yet for this week. But you'll probably see him in more nickel situations on Thursday."
When Eagles general manager Howie Roseman brought in Jim Schwartz disciple Stephen Tulloch two weeks ago, it appeared the writing was on the wall that Kendricks could be headed to the bench. That claim was furthered when Kendricks was on the field in the fourth quarter last week.
"Why? Because he hasn't played," Pederson explained as the reason Kendricks was on the field during a time usually reserved for bottom of the depth chart players. "He hasn't played and we just want to see him get game and live reps. That's the bottom line."
If Tulloch is here to start, someone has to sit. Right now the writing on the wall points to Kendricks, with Jordan Hicks moving to the weak-side. One other candidate, is another former Schwartz favorite Nigel Bradham, but the previous option seems to be a more likely fit.
"He's (Kendricks) another one that we'd love to see again this Thursday night in a short role. But at the same time he hasn't played all preseason," Pederson said. "Stephen Tulloch's another one that we need to see play. So there's an opportunity for these two to get some more reps on Thursday."
For Tulloch, if he plays well, it could be a opportunity to earn more playing time on Sept. 11 against Cleveland and for Kendricks, that could mean a move to the bench.
But as Pederson said, we’ll find out more tonight.
Here are some more notes for tonight:
• Pederson seemed encouraged by the way rookie left guard Isaac Seumalo has continued to progress as he comes back from his pectoral injury, but his comments also indicated that Seumalo’s status for Week 1 is still up in the air: “In Isaac's situation right now he's day-to-day, but [we] would expect him -- along with those other guys I mentioned -- to be back next week. And obviously we'll make a determination going forward who will be the starting five [offensive lineman] against Cleveland..”
• Cornerback Leodis McKelvin tweaked him hamstring but would be ready to play if this were a regular season game according to Pederson: It's nothing. Again, if it were a game week, he'd be okay to play. "
• Pederson said new defensive end Jake Metz, a member of the Philadelphia Soul's championship team, will have a chance to get himself on tape, so it doesn't sound like he has a shot to make the team, even with a good showing tonight.
• Pederson singled out Dorial Green-Beckham as another player who will get playing time tonight.