Allen out, Sims in; Tapp doesn't travel

NEW ORLEANS -- Nate Allen is not active and David Sims will make his first career NFL start at free safety when the Eagles face the Saints tonight.

Allen tried out his injured hamstring before pre-game warmups but will miss his first game of the season. He injured his other hamstring against the Lions and left in the fourth quarter just before the Eagles coughed up a ten-point lead.

Sims has played on only special teams all season and this will be the first time he plays safety in the pros.

Defensive end Darryl Tapp did not travel with the team because his expectant wife, Tiffany, went into labor. Tapp's absence was excused by the Eagles. The Tapps are expecting their first child.

Even though the Eagles are down a defensive end, they did not activate rookie Vinny Curry. Defensive tackle Mike Patterson will take Tapp's place on the game-day roster. Patterson is playing in his first game since undergoing brain surgery in January.

The Eagles will carry five defensive tackles -- Cullen Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Derek Landri, Cedric Thornton and Patterson -- and they will dress four defensive ends -- Jason Babin, Trent Cole, Brandon Graham and Phillip Hunt.

Guard Danny Watkins and wide receiver Mardy Gilyard were listed as out on Saturday and did not travel. Rookie Dennis Kelly will start for the injured Watkins (ankle) for the second straight week. Damaris Johnson will handle punt returns with Gilyard out.

The Eagles other inactives are quarterback Trent Edwards and offensive line Nate Menkin, both healthy.