As the last few pieces of equipment were loaded into trucks Wednesday, Eagles coach Andy Reid told reporters he expects to play his starters the entire first half Thursday night, when the Birds face the Carolina Panthers in a preseason game at Lincoln Financial Field.
Reid said corner Asante Samuel, who returned to workouts on Sunday from a hamstring injury, will start and will play the first half, if he experiences no further problems, with Sheldon Brown on the right side and Lito Sheppard playing nickel.
The Eagles will be missing defensive end Chris Clemons (calf strain), defensive tackle Montae Reagor (knee), defensive end Victor Abiamiri (wrist), and left offensive tackle Tra Thomas (back spasms). Wideout Jamaal Jones is doubtful with a rib problem, and wideout Jason Avant is questionable with a hamstring spasmn, Reid said.
Reid said left guard Todd Herremans will move into Thomas's left tackle spot for the Carolina game, with reserve guard Scott Young starting for Herremans. Max Jean-Gilles will continue to start for right guard Shawn Andrews, who reported to camp on Sunday after battling depression.