The Philadelphia Eagles listed five players inactive ahead of their regular-season opener against the Atlanta Falcons. Quarterback Gardner Minshew won’t be suiting up in Week 1 so the team will only have two signal-callers active, starter Jalen Hurts and backup Joe Flacco.
Minshew – acquired in a trade from Jacksonville on Aug. 28 – was listed as the third quarterback on the depth chart so him being inactive isn’t a real surprise. There is some thought that the 25-year-old will eventually supplant Flacco as the No. 2 guy in Philadelphia. Minshew has thrown for 5,530 yards and 37 touchdowns with a career completion percentage of 62.9 in 23 games (20 starts) since 2019.
The Eagles also kept safety Rodney McLeod, center Landon Dickerson, cornerback Mac McCain, linebacker Davion Taylor inactive on Sunday. Marcus Epps or K’Von Wallace are expected to start at the strong safety spot for McLeod, with Nate Herbig serving as the backup center behind Jason Kelce. Taylor has been week-to-week since the start of training camp with a calf injury. Meanwhile, McCain was just poached from the Denver Broncos’ practice squad on Sept. 7 to give Philly depth in the secondary.
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Nick Sirianni Leaning on Colts Mentor
Head coach Nick Sirianni will make his head-coaching debut on Sunday when the Eagles kick it off in Atlanta. He spent the past three seasons as Frank Reich’s offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts where he had limited input on play-calling. Sirianni struck up a fast friendship with Reich during his time in the Hoosier Capital and the two stayed in close contact.
“I was on the phone with Frank yesterday [on Thursday], I was on the phone with Frank the day before that too on the way home. I might have talked to him a little bit more this week than I talked to my wife,” Sirianni said. “That’s a guy I’m really close to and it’s not just football. It’s not just X’s and O’s. It’s the communication with the team, leading the team and then just life in general as well.”
Eagles Defense Ready to Attack, Get Takeaways
One of the biggest problems for the Eagles’ defense in 2020 was a lack of takeaways. They ranked fourth-worst in the NFL in that department (-10 in takeaways) with eight interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries while giving the ball away a whopping 29 times. New defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon has put a priority on generating turnovers this year. They work on it every day at practice – some guys have complained about black-and-blue fingertips from getting slapped at – and now it’s time to put it on display.
“Everybody running to the ball, we want to get more than eight and nine guys to the ball. That’s just a team running and hustling to the ball,” cornerback Avonte Maddox said. “That’s with the quarterback, it doesn’t matter, whoever has the ball, there should be 11 guys heading to it.”