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Four storylines to follow for fourth preseason game

By: Noah Levick, Sports Talk Philly Staff

60 minutes. That's all Eagles fans have to endure before the preseason is over and the regular season is finally upon us. Below are four storylines to keep an eye on in Thursday night's fourth and final preseason game, against the Jets.

1.Position battles

With the release of Ron Brooks yesterday, it's unclear exactly what the Eagles' plans are at cornerback, especially at the nickel slot. New addition Dexter McDougle, who will face his former team in his first game for the Eagles, is presumably in the mix for that role. Free agent Patrick Robinson is another contender for the nickel job, while Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills have likely done enough to earn the outside spots.

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For Flyers, Retiring No. 88 Is a Slam-Dunk

1-14-2017_FlyersPenguinsAlumni_warmups_credKateFrese-4(Kate Frese/Sports Talk Philly)

By Rob Riches, Sports Talk Philly staff 

When you think of the most dominant talents to play for the Flyers, Eric Lindros is always one of the first names to come to mind. Sure, it's easy to think of Bobby Clarke, Bernie Parent, Mark Howe and Claude Giroux as well, among a litany of others, but Lindros is always a top name.

Lindros was a generational talent who ran roughshod across the rest of the NHL during his time as a Flyer, and he helped put the franchise back on the map after a period of dormancy in the early 1990s (thanks, Russ Farwell!). He had been pegged to carry the torch from generational talents like Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky -- even being billed as 'The Next One' -- and it was not hard to see why. 

Lindros meant a great deal to the Flyers organization during his heyday, and the team is responding in kind -- raising his No. 88 to the rafters in a pregame ceremony on Jan. 18. Though no player has worn the 88 since he left, it will officially remain that way. Like most other clubs in professional teams, retiring a number is the highest honor the Flyers have to offer, and it's entirely well-deserved for Lindros.

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Altherr, Herrera to begin rehab in Double-A, Eickhoff placed on DL

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By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor

The Philadelphia Phillies look to be close to getting two of their productive outfielders back while one of their starting pitchers hits the disabled list. Aaron Altherr and Odubel Herrera, both out with hamstring injuries, will suit up for the Reading Fightin' Phils this evening. Meanwhile, right-hander Jerad Eickhoff heads to the disabled list with nerve issues in his pitching hand.

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Former Soul DE Metz joins Eagles ahead of preseason finale

By: Andrew DiCecco, Sports Talk Philly Staff

At this time a year ago, Jake Metz was preparing to make his NFL debut against the New York Jets as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. A year later, Metz found himself in a familiar situation when he was claimed off waivers by his hometown Eagles on Wednesday. 

A graduate of Souderton Area High School, Metz attended Shippensburg University from 2010-2013, where he finished his collegiate career as the school's all-time leader in both sacks (30.5) and tackles for a loss (55). 

Despite going undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft, he remained an intriguing prospect to NFL scouts, and conducted workouts for the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and Detroit Lions. After months of persistence, Metz earned his first professional contract, signing with the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League on October 7, 2014. Metz appeared sparingly in his rookie year, as he spent the season adjusting to the indoor game. It wasn't until his second season that he began to make his presence felt.

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Analyzing the Eagles running back situation

By: Jesse Larch, Sports Talk Philly Staff

When projecting the Eagles' 53-man roster, one of the toughest positions to gauge is running back. 

This preseason we have seen poor play from LeGarrette Blount and Donnell Pumphrey, practices and games missed by Wendell Smallwood due to injury, and an undrafted rookie show that he belongs in the NFL in Corey Clement. 

The only running back guaranteed a spot on the roster is Darren Sproles, who has not played a snap in preseason.

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Nik Stauskas: "It's time that the process is over. It's time that we start winning games"

By John Wetzel, Sports Talk Philly staff

It's been laughed at, praised, trending on twitter and everywhere in between. "The process" has become known to almost anyone who pays any attention at all to the NBA. 

Now that the goal of the process is coming to fruition with the Sixers cashing in their assets for talent, Nik Stauskas wants to begin a new goal: contention. 

In an interview with The Score, Stauskas said "It's time that the process is over, it's time that we start winning games, and start competing. That's really the main goal moving forward."

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Would you trade Carson Wentz being good to assure health of Joel Embiid?

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor

After what's largely been a miserable decade for Philadelphia sports fans, this fall may serve as the light at the end of the tunnel. No, the Phillies aren't going to be in the playoffs. But the Eagles, led by second-year quarterback Carson Wentz, appear to have stability at the quarterback position for the first time in a decade. The difficult part of "The Process" appears to be over for the Sixers, who, led by Joel Embiid, seem likely to compete for their first playoff appearance since 2011-12. 

Of course, things can never be that simple in Philadelphia. Embiid, despite Hall of Fame talent, has been limited by injuries to just 31 games in three seasons. Wentz, who seemed like a franchise quarterback the first five weeks of the season last year, was awfully ineffective in an offense that became unwatchable for all of November and even into early December of 2016.

With the "Negadelphia" culture in mind, this hypothetical topic has made the rounds on Twitter this summer: would you trade Wentz being good if it assured that Embiid would have a long, healthy career? 

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Phillies Video: Ryan Howard hits walk-off home run

Ryan howard

Did Ryan Howard hit the final home run of his professional baseball career Wednesday? (Frank Klose/SportsTalkPhilly)

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor

If this is it for former Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, he's going out in style. 

In the first game of the Albuquerque Isotopes double-header against the Reno Aces Wednesday, Howard hit a titanic walk-off home run: 

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Eagles to induct David Akers into their Hall of Fame on Monday Night Football

By: Jesse Larch, Sports Talk Philly Staff

Another staple of the Eagles' most successful era is entering the team's Hall of Fame. 

Following the induction of his teammates Brian Dawkins and Donavan McNabb into the Hall of Fame, David Akers will receiver the honor in 2017 on October 23 against the Washington Redskins.

Akers was elected to five pro-bowls, the most of any kicker in team history, during his span with the Eagles.

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Phillies swept by Braves in doubleheader

By: Rebecca Serad, Sports Talk Philly Staff 

PHILADELPHIA — It wasn't a good day for the Philadelphia Phillies (49-83). They lost both games of today's doubleheader to the Atlanta Braves (59-72). Game one was painful, in more ways than one. The Braves' bats pummeled Phillies pitching and starter Jerad Eickhoff left the game with an injury. It's unclear how severe the injury is at this time. Game two wasn't as painful, but still went down as a loss. Mark Leiter Jr. had a solid start, but the bats didn't back him up. The one positive to come out of both games was Rhys Hoskins. He extended his hitting streak to 12 games and has been one of the only bright spots of this season.

The Braves outscored the Phillies 14-3 in the double-header, which is horrendous to say the least. Outfielder Ender Inciarte was a big contributor to the Braves' success. He had eight hits in the doubleheader. The Phillies, as a team, had 13 hits between the two games. R.A. Dickey and Julio Teheran were both dominant for the Braves, combining for 14.2 IP and 17 SO.

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