Eagles coach Andy Reid said Tuesday he hadn't decided on the playing time breakdown for the various units in Thursday's preseason finale, but Reid seemed to indicate he wanted to get more reps for his starters. However, the starters played a limited role in practice Tuesday, and other sources said this preseason finale will be like all the others for the past several years -- a last fling for roster hopefuls battling to survive, in which no starters' health will be risked.
During his news conference Tuesday, after he was noncomittal about playing the starters, Reid was asked why he might be considering it.
“It seems like a long period of time (before the Sept. 7 regular season opener). I wanted to get those guys into the third quarter in this last game and ended up pulling them out at halftime," Reid said.." It’s just something to evaluate, the number of plays they have had.”
Apparently, the key word there was "evaluate." Indications are that despite what Reid said, the evaluating has already taken place, and Reid has decided 9 days isn't too long a break, after all, when weighed against the possibility of injury. So don't look for any starters Thursday. Do expect to see a lot of Shaheer McBride and Marcus Paschal.
Defensive end Chris Clemons, a key offseason free-agent signing who hasn't been healthy enough to make much of an impression in a crowded field, will not get the chance defensive coordinator Jim Johnson said this week that Clemons needed to seize to ensure his spot. Though Clemons participated in individual drills Monday, he has not been able to fully practice with a calf strain suffered more than two weeks ago, and will not play against the Jets, Reid said.