EAGLES FINISH PRESEASON, START TO FORM 53-MAN ROSTER FOR 2017
EAST RUTHERFORD: The NFL fourth preseason game generates about as much enthusiam among fans as stopping by to watch a shift change at your local Wawa food store.
The Eagles-Jets matchup Thursday night was witnessed at a Metlife Stadium that was about 25 percent full.
The Birds lost 16-10 and finished the preseason 2-2.
The game was a dud but there were still reasons to pay attention that could impact the regular season roster. Here are five reasons.
* Defensive tackle Beau Allen finally played in a real football game. The four-year veteran was sidelined in April after suffering a pectoral injury while training and was unable to take part in the Eagles OTAs, mini-camp and most of training camp. Allen played one quarter and had two tackles. He will be counted on to be a regular in the Birds defensive line rotation.
” I think it’s important to remember I’ve only practiced three times before playing in an NFL game. “Allen said at his locker after the game. “But it felt really good to get back out there.”i
Allen talked about what he would be doing to get ready for Washington in 10 days.
“I just need to get my strength back,” Allen said. “I’m kind of a meat head, I’ll be in the weight room working out to get that strength back, back in may hands but the good thing is I’ve got time to get it done (before the opener.”
* Donnel Pumphrey did nothing to stop his downward spiral toward Bustville. Just 10 yards on seven carries for a 1.4 yards per carry. The fourth round pick out of San Diego State finished the the preseason with no touchdowns and a yard per carry average below two yard. He had several opportunities for big plays against the Jets, especially on kick and punt returns but just couldn’t find that extra gear needed at this level.
“I feel like I left everything on the field, I gave everything I had,” a somber Pumphrey said at his locker after the game.
* South Jersey native Corey Clement, the free agent running back from Wisconsin only played the first quarter carrying the ball four times for 16 yards. He seems to have beat the odds and earned a spot on the roster.
“I will have my phone with me at all times until I get the ball,” Clement said with a smile after the game at his locker.
* Matt McGloin struggles with cosistancy. With Nick Foles out he has had playing time in the preseason a free agent dreams of. The former Penn State star played poorly in the preseason opener in Green Bay but looked better against Buffalo and much better against Miami. Against the Jets McGloin seemed to take a step back. He was 14 of 21 for 90 yards. McGloin did not throw and intercpetion, but could not produce a touchdown drive in his half of work. The Eagles backup quarterback situation is shakey at best.
* Nick Foles did not play this preason at all. That fact is a story in itself. Foles, who put up historic numbers when he played quarterback for the Eagles between 2012-14, has not thrown a pass in anger since his return this year to backup Carson Wentz. Foles revealed he had an elbow injury during the spring that needed time to heal properly. The Eagles are giving him that time while assuring everyone he is fine.
“It feels great,” Foles said. “I’m great. I’ll be ready to go this Monday. I’ll continue to strengthen and everything but I’m good. I’m full go right now. I know everyone is worried. But it’s the preseason. Everyone has anxiety. But we’re good, we’re fine.”
In all, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was pretty sure who ws going to be on his final roster before the game. Nothing that happend last night did much if anything to change that.
Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii