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  • Writer's pictureAl Thompson


Eagles are looking to trade Andre Dillard, Chicago Bears need a tackle and would like to unload the Philadelphia Legend.

Eagles backup quarterback Joe Flacco, an Audubon, New Jersey native, had been underwhelming in his two appearances this preseason. Could the Birds be interested in Nick Foles as their backup? Photo by Andy Lewis

Those individuals who can’t stand the NFL preseason, the Eagles-Patriots affair Thursday night checked off all the boxes for why you loathe the pretend games every summer.

The Birds, without notice, started the game with backup Joe Flacco under center. It was leaned starter Jalen Hurts became ill and could not play.

The second-year quarterback was seen participating in pregame drills, but did not play. Neither did starters Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Jordan Mailata, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett and Darius Slay…among others

And really, none of the Eagles who actually ventured out onto the field can make the claim they played either as the Birds (0-2) sleep-walked through the evening that ended with New England leaving Lincoln Financial Field with 35-0 victory.

Eagles rookie head coach Nick Sirianni came out to the media room in the bowels of the Linc and gave a play-by play of what happened with his quarterback.

“He came in and wasn’t feeling great,” Sirianni said. “We put him through pregame warm-ups. He wanted to go out there and go through pregame warm-ups. He came back in and still wasn’t feeling good. We evaluated him and we just decided it wasn’t in his best interest to play with what he was feeling. We evaluated him. He is fine now. He is doing okay now, but that is why we held him out.”

The coach was asked if Hurts was sent home. His answer was a bit of a surprise.

“He actually went to the hospital to get evaluated for his stomach,” He said. “Like I said, came back, everything is good, and he is going to be okay.”

Sirianni talked about the symptoms Hurts was experiencing.

“He just had pain in his abdomen, which for a guy like that to tell us; he’s a tough guy, so it must have been hurting him pretty good for him to let us know about that.”

Others starters and regulars who did not play included Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Josh Sweat, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett. Javon Hargrave and Darius Slay.

Since the Eagles won the toss, elected to receive and didn’t score in the first half, no one could tell kicker Jack Elliott was sidelined with an ankle injury.

Many fans were looking forward to seeing Hurts play and work with rookie receiver DeVonta Smith who has missed much of training camp and the Eagles first preseason game.

Smith did play but did not make any big splash plays fans were hoping for. He caught two balls for 19 yards. Smith was targeted four times. He dropped one and appeared to take his eyes off another pass from Flacco.

"I took too long to look back at the ball," Smith admitted. "That is a great throw by Joe and I have to do my part.”

The absence of Hurts seemed to take air out the team’s collective sails.

Eagles All Pro tackle Lane Johnson wasn’t having it. After the game he appeared on a Derrick Gunn podcast and let his feelings be known.

“It’s terrible anytime you don’t put up anything,” Johnson said. “I don’t care. If you’re in the nature of competing and being in competitions, it’s unacceptable. I don’t care if it’s preseason; there are still standards to play at.”

Since the Eagles won the toss, elected to receive and didn’t score in the first half, no one could tell kicker Jack Elliott was sidelined with an ankle injury.

The Birds trailed 19-0 at the half and 32-0 late in the third quarter of a game that was the definition of unwatchable, even by preseason standards.

The frizz bee dogs at halftime were more entertaining.

Flacco was 10 of 17 for 83 yards. He was sacked once and threw an interception. He had a fumble, but to be fair, it occurred after a high snap by third-year guard/center Nate Herbig that sailed over Flacco’s head.

After the 14-year veteran picked up the ball at the Eagles 21-yard line, he was hit by Pats linebacker Matt Judon, who forced a fumble that was recovered by former Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills at the Birds nine.

Nick Foles strikes an iconic pose while winding up for a pass against the Minnesota Vikings in the 2017/18 NFC title game at Lincoln Financial Field. Photo by Andy Lewis

Two plays later, The Patriots led 7-0 on a five-yard touchdown run by Damien Harris. Turns out, that all New England needed.

Flacco finished his half of work with a rating of 46.9. Don’t be surprised if the clamor to bring back Nick Foles intensifies this week.

Foles is sitting in Chicago waiting to be traded by the Bears.

The Bears just so happen to be in the market for a tackle since their second round pick Tevon Jenkins was lost for the foreseeable future after undergoing back surgery last week.

Andre Dillard, the Eagles first round pick in 2019 has fallen from grace with the Eagles after a mediocre, injury-plagued first two years.

He was losing his camp battle this summer with fourth-year tackle Jordan Mailata when he was sidelined with a biceps injury. But the injury is not considered serious. The Bears could offer the Eagles the 32-year-old Foles in exchange for a damaged, underachieving Dillard.

The Bears recently signed former Eagles tackle Jason Peters who is 39 years old and spent considerable time on the Eagles bench with injuries over the last few seasons. Dillard would be an upgrade over Peters once he is healthy. *

Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii

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