We aren’t going to lie to you — Thursday night’s game between the Jets and Eagles at Metlife Stadium is only an NFL game by technicality.
Birds fans won’t see Carson Wentz, they won’t see Fletcher Cox and will probably only get a limited look at top rookies Derek Barnett and Mack Hollins, if at all.
This game would probably be best viewed Friday morning after being DVRed as it will pit Philly and New York’s third team players against one another two days before most will be cut from the NFL.
However, there are a few important pieces of the team’s future at play in the game and hardcore Eagles fans will definitely need to keep an eye on the following storylines:
Will Foles play?
There seems to always be back up quarterback drama in Philly. Last year, it was whether Carson Wentz would beat out Chase Daniel to back up Sam Bradford. Before that, it was whether Tim Tebow would make the roster as a back up quarterback. This year, Nick Foles — who depth chart-wise is in line to be the Eagles No. 2 quarterback — has barely practiced due to illness and injury.
If he can play against the Jets Thursday, it will be a worthwhile chance to tune up at game speed. If he can’t, Eagles fans may have to prepare for Matt McGloin as Wentz’ back up.
Running back battle
There appears to be one spot left for either Donnell Pumphrey, Byron Marshall or Corey Clement on the 53-man roster at running back. Could a strong showing Thursday night propell one of the trio into a safe spot ahead of Saturday’s roster cuts? Pumprey has the inside track — despite injuries and subpar play he was drafted with a fourth round pick and the Eagles do not want to give up on an investment this soon. Marshall has a little veteran saavy from seasons past, and Clement as been a work horse in training camp thus far.
“It will be interesting to watch those guys Thursday night and to see how well they do,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said.
There are a few other battles worth watching but they are relatively low key to most casual fans. Will Dexter McDougle beat out Aaron Grymes for the final cornerback spot? Can Bryce Treggs and Marcus Johnson beat out draft pick Shelton Gibson to round out the wide receiving corps? Can Dillon Gordon take advatage of the last offensive line opening in the wake of Matt Tobin and Allen Barbre being traded? Thursday night should answer these and other questions.