The final preseason game isn’t good for very much. It gives the second and third teams a chance to get into sync, and gives fringe players one last chance to make the Eagles roster when it cuts down to 53. But it’s still an NFL football game, and here are three reasons to tune in on Thursday at 7 p.m.:
1. Vick is back
This time last year, Michael Vick was the Eagles’ starting quarterback and was on the sidelines rooting on the Birds in their fourth preseason game. This year, after swapping places with Mark Sanchez, he’s fighting for playing time with the Jets.
“I had a great run there with a lot of great memories and accomplished some things that can never be taken away from me, Vick said, reflecting back. “I’m ecstatic about that, thankful and very grateful.”
2. Running backups
The Eagles still have no bona fide back up for LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles at running back. Chip Kelly brought in Kenjon Barner, a former Oregon Duck last week and he will likely get a lot of reps against the Jets Thursday. Chris Polk is still dealing with a hamstring injury, giving Michael Tucker, whose been impressive thus far, a golden opportunity to make the 53-man roster. Henry Josey can also crack the squad.
3. Battle for wide receiver
There are some locks at wide receiver — Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff. But most of these men have shown they are at the very least, injury prone. The Eagles will be paying close attention to their crop of wide receivers who are vying to make the team, as any one of them could wind up getting serious reps during the regular season if something were to happen. Keep an eye on Brad Smith, Jeff Maehl, Arrelious Benn and of course Ifeanyi Momah. They are all likely battling for one last roster spot.