Rookie Isaac Seumalo, expected to be the Eagles' season-opening starter at left guard, won’t play in Saturday’s third preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts because of a strained pectoral muscle, head coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday.
Other injured players who Pederson said won’t play against the Colts are wide receiver Jordan Matthews (knee), cornerback Aaron Grymes (shoulder), defensive end Alex McCalister (calf), linebacker Joe Walker (torn ACL), wide receiver Hunter Sharp (hamstring), quarterback Carson Wentz (fracture rib) and defensive tackle Mike Martin (knee).
Stefen Wisniewski will start at left guard Saturday in Seumalo's place.
It’s a good opportunity to work with the 1s and show what I can do,’’ Wisniewski said.
Pederson has all but said that Seumalo will be the team’s Week 1 starter at left guard, but Wisniewski, who has 77 career NFL starts, 62 of them at center, was talking Wednesday like a guy who believes he still has a chance to win the starting job.
“I definitely think (the Colts game) is an audition to be the starter,’’ Wisniewski said. “I think I’ve been playing starter-quality football all camp. The job’s still open.
“I’m gonna try to continue to do what I’ve been doing and show them that I should be the starter. As far as I’ve been aware, it’s been an open competition and it’s still an open completion.’’
Veteran Allen Barbre started 16 games at left guard last season and was expected to be the starter there again this season.
But with right tackle Lane Johnson expected to get slapped with a 10-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, Barbre has been moved to right tackle and was replaced at left guard by Seumalo. Seumalo started last week’s preseason game against Pittsburgh.
Saturday, Pederson said Seumalo “hasn’t done anything not to be the starter.’’
When asked Wednesday whether Seumalo had won the starting job, Pederson said, “I’m not saying (Wisniewski) can’t win it. But I’m not going to let an injury keep Isaac out of the starting rotation.’’
Pederson listed Seumalo as day to day. He apparently strained the pec, but didn’t tear it, which is what happened last year to linebacker Jordan Hicks. Hicks missed the final eight games of the season with the injury.
“We feel it’s in his best interest to keep him out of this football game,’’ the Eagles coach said.
Wisniewski started 16 games at center last season for Jacksonville. He has started 14 or more games in all five of his pro seasons.
An unrestricted free agent, he signed a one-year, $1.51 million deal with the Eagles in the offseason.
“(Starting) is definitely my goal,’’ Wisniewski said. “I’d be lying to you if I told you I wouldn’t be disappointed if I was the backup.’’