More Sports:

August 24, 2023

Five players to watch in the Eagles-Colts preseason game

The Eagles have their preseason finale against the Colts. These players, including Tyree Jackson, should be on your radar.

Eagles NFL
8.6.23_EaglesPractice_Tyree-Jackson Colleen Claggett/For PhillyVoice

TE Tyree Jackson

The Philadelphia Eagles will play their third and final preseason game Thursday night in Philly against the Indianapolis Colts, who practiced and fought with the Eagles on Tuesday. 

We're unlikely to see any Eagles players of substantial importance play in this game, however, it may help decide which players claim the last few spots on the roster. 

Prior to the final preseason game during the 2021 season, Nick Sirianni said that he showed clips of players in his previous coaching stops who had great final games, which helped them make 53-man rosters. The players they showed were Austin Ekeler, Dontrelle Inman, Andrew Sendejo, Victor Bolden, and Zach Pascal.

Here are five players to watch who are on the roster bubble and could stamp their ticket to the 53-man roster with standout performances, or lose their spots if they play poorly.

1) TE Tyree Jackson: Jackson started off training camp hot, but he cooled off about midway through. In the second preseason game against the Browns, Jackson had a pair of catches for 41 yards. For those of you who follow the team closely, Jackson is a quarterback-turned-tight end who has appealing length and speed for the position.

However, that position change began two and a half years ago. Jackson must show that he can produce in order to make the roster, and a big final game would help. 

2) OL Josh Sills: Sills was activated from the Commissioner's Exempt List 20 days ago, after being acquitted of rape and kidnapping charges. Because his teammates have focused on football while his focus has been on staying out of jail, Sills has not looked stellar since returning to the team. 

If he plays poorly against the Colts, the Eagles might feel confident that they can bring him back to the practice squad after final cuts. After all, not to sound crass, but what team would claim a guy who had to fight rape charges and also played badly in the preseason games? However, if Sills plays well, the Eagles would have to include him on their initial 53 or be prepared to lose him if he's cut.

3) LB Nicholas Morrow: Morrow began camp as the favorite to land the starting linebacker job opposite Nakobe Dean, but heading into the final preseason game he is no higher than fourth in the pecking order at the position, behind Dean, Zach Cunningham, and Christian Elliss.

It's not inconceivable that the Eagles go very light at linebacker and keep just three. If that's the route they go, Morrow would be the odd man out. He probably needs a good performance to save his roster spot.

4) CB Mario Goodrich: With the season-ending injury to Zech McPhearson, an opportunity opened wide for Goodrich to earn the backup slot corner job behind Avonte Maddox. Goodrich has had a good camp, and he will be looking to put an exclamation point on it Thursday night. It wouldn't hurt if he made a play on special teams.

5) CB Eli Ricks: Ricks had a big game during the first preseason matchup against the Ravens, when he had a pick six along with several other pass breakups. Otherwise, he has had a pretty quiet camp. 

Ricks is in a tough spot because the Eagles have four locks at outside corner in Darius Slay, James Bradberry, Josh Jobe, and Kelee Ringo. They also have one lock in the slot in Maddox, and they'd probably like to keep a backup in the slot, like Goodrich. If Ricks is going to crack the roster, the Eagles would probably have to keep seven corners. That's not totally out of the question, but it might require Ricks to have a second standout performance that demands that the Eagles keep him. 

Follow Jimmy & PhillyVoice on Twitter or whatever it's called now: @JimmyKempski | thePhillyVoice

And on Threads: @JimmyKempski

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports

Add Jimmy's RSS feed to your feed reader