When the Philadelphia Eagles host the rival Washington Football Team on Sunday night, they'll be looking not only to play spoiler in the wide-open NFC East but potentially save coach Doug Pederson's job. They might be doing so, however, without a number of key starters. According to NBC Sports Philadelphia and NFL Network, the Eagles are expected to sit a handful of rehabilitating veterans who might otherwise suit up for action, presumably to avoid further injury ahead of an important offseason.
As Philly.com's Les Bowen speculates, "nobody who can make an injury worse is going to see the field for the Eagles." That figures to include running back Miles Sanders, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, tight end Dallas Goedert, left tackle Jordan Mailata, defensive end Derek Barnett and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, all of whom missed practice this week with various ailments.
Philadelphia was already set to enter Sunday's season finale rather depleted on the defensive side of the ball, where coordinator Jim Schwartz was forced to call upon reserves and new faces in the secondary in Week 16. Without Sanders, Jackson, Goedert and Mailata on offense, however, Pederson's own unit is likely to rely on younger backups -- from running back Boston Scott to rookie wideout Jalen Reagor to tackles Matt Pryor and Brett Toth -- around rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts.
This could be welcome news for Washington, which needs a victory Sunday night to clinch the NFC East and a playoff berth.