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How much will Eagles starters play on Thursday? | Early Birds

The Eagles’ preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers will be a welcome change from the monotony of training camp.

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz warming up during training camp at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday.
Eagles tight end Zach Ertz warming up during training camp at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday.Read moreMONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer

Good morning, Eagles fans. Happy Wednesday. We are less than 48 hours away from Eagles football. How does it feel?

The Eagles’ preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday will be a welcome change from the monotony of training camp. Players will be happy to hit someone other than the teammates they’ve seen the last few weeks, coaches will be happy to see how guys stack up in a game situation, and fans will be able to view the whole thing from the comfort of their couches.

From the sounds of it, you’ll get a look at Jalen Hurts and the rest of the starting offense for the most part, too. Eagles coach Nick Sirianni said Tuesday that he expects nearly every healthy player to get some snaps in at the Linc.

“We’ve discussed everybody, and everybody has their own little scenario that we’re doing,” Sirianni said. “Expect everybody to play for the most part, and yeah, that’s in constant discussion.”

Sirianni gave the sense that the amount of snaps the starters would play could be impacted by how they perform.

“If we go out and have a seven-play drive, then we reevaluate, just like in a game,” Sirianni said. “If we go three-and-out, then we reevaluate. Yes, everything is on — I don’t want to say a sliding scale, to say, [but] yeah.”

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What you need to know about the Eagles

  1. Jordan Mailata is going to be the team’s starting left tackle for the foreseeable future with Andre Dillard week-to-week with a knee injury. Yours truly wrote about how a bond with Joe Ostman helped him get here.

  2. Jalen Hurts is the Eagles’ starting quarterback right now, but will it stay that way? Paul Domowitch reports the Eagles’ interest in trading for Deshaun Watson is real.

  3. Want the latest from Eagles training camp? Jeff McLane recapped all the noteworthy action from Tuesday’s practice, including Dallas Goedert’s catches and Darius Slay’s strong showing.

  4. Alex Singleton caught the coronavirus at the start of training camp despite being vaccinated. To stay in shape, he said he did laps in his house. Josh Tolentino has the details.

From the mailbag

Which is is more likely: Eagles going into 2022 with A. Jalen Hurts B. Deshaun Watson C. Spencer Rattler/Sam Howell D. Other at starting quarterback? — from Kris (@kriswilson23) on Twitter

Good question, Kris. I would put Hurts retaining the starting role as the most likely. He’ll presumably get the chance to earn the job early in the season, barring a sudden Watson trade. He’s had an up-and-down training camp, but the chance that he’s at least competent is still a real possibility. If he’s that or better, he could make the case to stick.

Watson is next likely over a top prospect such as Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler or UNC star Sam Howell. The Eagles having real interest in Watson, combined with still having a handful of talented, high-priced veteran players such as Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, and Darius Slay, would suggest the organization believes it is still capable of going into win-now mode with the right signal caller.

Whenever a Watson trade is mentioned, it’s imperative that we point out that the quarterback has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by 22 women and is the subject of a criminal investigation by the Houston Police Department. His situation is incredibly complicated and daunting. Things are capable of shifting significantly very quickly.

Who is in the “Other” category? I guess you could throw in Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and whichever fringe quarterback prospect you’re picking to ascend quickly into stardom. I’d give that group the lowest chance. Let’s call it 35% Hurts, 30% Watson, 20% Rattler/Howell, and 15% Other.