Making sense of the Eagles' inactives

Eagles coaches chose youth over experience as they filled out their gameday roster against the Cowboys.

Veteran linebacker Omar Gaither is inactive for the second time all season. Gaither has had primarily a special teams role. By my count, he has not taken a defensive snap since Week 2 when he was filling in for an injured Stewart Bradley.

The Eagles took two linebackers in April's draft, and both are active instead of Gaither. JaMar Chaney has been one of the team's most productive special teams players, trailing only Akeem Jordan in the special teams stats the team keeps.

And Keenan Clayton has seen spot action on defense.

Here are the Eagles' other inactives: Mike Kafka (third QB), Asante Samuel, Brandon Hughes, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Austin Howard, Winston Justice, Garrett Mills and Gaither.

Some interesting notes here. Let's start with the offensive line. King Dunlap gets the start at right tackle in place of Winston Justice. Howard, who has been used as a backup tackle earlier in the season, is inactive. Reggie Wells, however, is active for the first time since Week 7.

The guess here is that if Dunlap goes down, Todd Herremans moves to right tackle, and either Wells or Nick Cole takes over at guard. Wells and Cole are the Eagles' only two reserve linemen.

Offensively, note that the Birds have five wide receivers active, for (I believe) the first time all season. Both Riley Cooper and Chad Hall are active, joining DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant.

The Eagles' defense will be without Asante Samuel for the third week in a row.

That means Dimitri Patterson and Joselio Hanson will start once again, and rookie Trevard Lindley will enter the game in nickel situations.

Te'o-Nesheim is inactive for the first time since Week 10.

Earlier today, I looked at Eagles playoff implications from the other games on Sunday.

And join me for a game chat at 8:15 p.m.


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