As expected, Andy Reid said Monday that he will play his starters in the season finale against the Redskins.
The Eagles found out early in Saturday's win at Dallas that they had been eliminated from the playoffs, but Reid stayed with his starters the rest of the way. While Sunday's game is meaningless in terms of the postseason, Reid said there was still something to play for.
"Listen, this is what we do as coaches, this is what the players do as players, this is their profession," Reid said Monday. "So to say something's 'meaningless,' I don't think that's right. I think it's an opportunity to play another game against a good football team and make yourself better as a team and as an individual and that's what you do."
As insignificant as it is, an Eagles victory would prevent a losing record. Reid has finished sub-.500 only twice in 12 previous seasons. Several players also have milestones within reach.
Defensive end Jason Babin didn't add to his sack total of 18 against the Cowboys, but he still has an outside shot of topping Reggie White's franchise mark of 21. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson needs 125 yards receiving to eclipse 1,000 yards for the third straight season.
Still, there are always risks. Losing cornerstones such as quarterback Michael Vick and running back LeSean McCoy to long-term injuries would be potentially devastating for next season. The Vikings' Adrian Peterson suffered a knee injury on Saturday that could sideline the franchise running back for almost a year.
"That's part of this game," Reid said. "If you go in thinking about that and questioning, whether you're a coach or a player, you're going to hesitate, and if you hesitate in this game you've got a problem."
Asante Samuel, who missed Saturday's game, is a stretch to play Sunday, a team source said.
With his future with the Eagles in doubt, the Pro Bowl cornerback may have played his last game with the team. With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie signed through next season at a relatively low figure, the Eagles could part with Samuel, who is still owed close to $20 million in the remaining two years on his contract.
Rodgers-Cromartie has filled in since Samuel strained his hamstring against the Jets. Reid originally termed the injury "slight," but the hamstring tightened up last Tuesday, the coach said.
Kurt Coleman has a bicep strain and will not have an MRI until Tuesday. If the safety has a muscle tear, his season is over and rookie Jaiquawn Jarrett will have another opportunity to start.
McCoy has a "slight ankle sprain, but he'll be fine," Reid said. McCoy is still second in the NFL in rushing, but he's 128 yards behind Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jaguars and more than 200 from eclipsing Wilbert Montgomery's team record of 1,512.
Linebacker Brian Rolle has a slight ankle sprain, Reid said. And defensive tackle Trevor Laws, who sat out the Cowboys game, still has knee tendinitis.
Pro Bowl rosters will be announced by the league Tuesday evening and tackle Jason Peters, McCoy and Babin are expected to be on the NFC squad.
Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is also a possibility. Coaches, players and fans make up the voting.