Preseason Week 4 Preview: Last chance for Eagles bubble players

Thursday night’s game at MetLife Stadium will not be about Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray or any other starting player.

Matt Barkley is starting at quarterback. Most of the second string will start at running back, wide receiver and across the board defensively.

This is the final chance for the bubble players to make the 53-man roster.

The Eagles final preseason game kicks off against the Jets at 7 p.m.

There is one starter who plans to make an appearance. Kiko Alonso, who has missed the first three preseason games, said he would play in Thursday’s finale as a test for the regular season. Alonso had warmed up for the Week 3 game in Green Bay but sat out due to tendinitis.

Otherwise, this is all about position battles. The third quarterback will likely be a half-by-half battle between Barkley and Tim Tebow. With three running backs secure, can Kenjon Barner or Raheem Mostert convince the Eagles to go with four?

This will also be the last chance for Eric Tomlinson to make the roster. An injury to Zach Ertz has given the Eagles an extensive look at Tomlinson while trying to determine if there is room for four tight ends on the roster.

Defensively, this could be the last chance for Marcus Smith, who has also missed the previous two games with injury. The 2014 first-round pick is in jeopardy of being left off the 53-man roster after limited playing time last season.

There are still a few battles to determine in the secondary as well, as the Eagles finalize the groups at corner and safety.

It will be a week to make the final evaluations. There are 74 players who have survived thus far, either through remaining healthy or playing well enough to deserve the extended look. For many, this could be their last chance at a roster spot and a chance to prove they belong on the practice squad instead of being released into the free-agent pool.

In the meantime, the second-string players could also help the Eagles to a 4-0 preseason. The last time the Eagles completed a perfect preseason was in 2012.

Where To Watch

  • TV: NBC10 (Scott Graham, Mike Mayock, Dave Spadaro)
  • Radio: 94WIP (Merrill Reese, Mike Quick, Howard Eskin)

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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