Eagles coach Doug Pederson has not decided how long the starters would play on Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins. He said that he would typically play the starters a full half and into the third quarter, although he noted that the “good work the last couple of days” while practicing with the Dolphins could factor into the decision.
“I haven’t made that decision yet,” Pederson said. “I’m going to wait and see how the guys are after these couple of days.”
Pederson has been more conservative this preseason than last year. He played his starters a full half in the second game last season, but they didn’t last that long last week. In the third preseason game last season, the starters played the entire first half and a drive in the third quarter.
“I think it’s just based on how the guys are doing, how they’re performing,” Pederson said. “I think, too, the older I get, it’s a fine line. As you know, it’s a fine line, and we don’t play games that really mean much until September. So I try to do everything I can to get our guys the reps they need. That’s why we practice extensively here in these practices, but also in the games. So I want to make sure that they’re getting just what they need leading up to the Washington game.”
The Eagles could play without defensive end Brandon Graham (elbow), linebacker Jordan Hicks (groin), and quarterback Nick Foles, who said he won’t play because of an elbow injury, all of whom missed practice on Tuesday. If all three are out, look for Derek Barnett to start at defensive end, Najee Goode to start at linebacker, and Matt McGloin to be the backup quarterback.
Tuesday was the final practice before the game. The Eagles have only a walk-through on Wednesday.