Asomugha, Allen will play Thursday; DeSean, Laws out

Nnamdi Asomugha will make his Eagles debut in Thursday's preseason opener. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

BETHLEHEM, PA -- The Eagles starters will play the first quarter Thursday night against the Ravens, Vince Young and the second team will play the second quarter and the third and fourth stringers will play the second half, Andy Reid said today.

DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Trevor Laws and Mike Patterson will all miss the game, as well as Winston Justice and Brandon Graham, who are on the PUP list. Jackson said he expects to practice Saturday and play in the next preseason game, Aug. 18 at Pittsburgh.

Jamaal Jackson will start at center, though Reid made it sound likely that Jason Kelce will get some reps with the first team as well (the coach wouldn't say it directly, but reading between the lines that was the take away).

Nnamdi Asomugha will play, despite some minor injuries this week. He'll start at right cornerback with Asante Samuel on the left side. Joselio Hanson remains the first choice nickel, with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie coming in for dime sets and with the second team.

Nate Allen will also play. Johnnie Lee Higgins will return kicks to start the game, though Reid said others, such as Chad Hall, may also get opportunities.

Jason Avant and Riley Cooper will start at wide receiver, with Hall likely coming in for three-receiver sets.

The game will also be the first chance for Juan Castillo to call plays live in a game, and for Reid to work with his new defensive coaching staff.

"You work on your gameday procedures. Communication, substitution, clock management, all thoes things," Reid said.

Reid had no updates on Patterson or Maclin, saying each was still undergoing testing. He did not have a time frame for either to return. Reid said he's not ruling out having Marlin Jackson on the team after he had surgery on a sports hernia Tuesday. Still, with Jackson's injury history, a return seems less and less likely.