Kolb May Not Play Sunday, Temple's Jarrett Could Make First Career Start

Kolb May Not Play Sunday, Temple's Jarrett Could Make First Career Start

The much-anticipated return of Kevin Kolb may have to wait for another time. Yes, that first part was a joke.

Little more than one year removed from being Philadelphia's franchise quarterback, and roughly three months since being shipped off to Arizona, the Eagles' top pick in the 2007 draft may not be able to go for his new team this week. Kolb was sidelined against the Rams last week with turf toe, and while he has experienced some improvement, it has yet to lead to participation in practice.

If Kolb doesn't practice on Friday, the chances of him starting on Sunday are greatly reduced. Second-year quarterback John Skelton, a fifth-round pick out of Fordham, will play if Kolb can't go.

Kolb's tenure in Arizona has not exactly gone swimmingly so far. The Cardinals are 2-6 on the season, and Kolb has struggled to perform. His completion percentage has dipped to 56.8, he's thrown as many touchdowns as interceptions (eight), been sacked a total of 24 times, and his passer rating is a pedestrian 77.8.

That being said, it's hard to imagine the Cards would be better off with him out of the lineup. In six career games, Skelton's completion percentage is below 50. He has the physical characteristics of an NFL quarterback, but he's very green coming from such a small university.

Skelton was 20-35 for 222 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals 19-13 overtime win over St. Louis this past Sunday.

Meanwhile, Eagles free safety Nate Allen sustained a concussion in Monday night's loss to Chicago, and with a short week to prepare, Andy Reid admitted it would be difficult for Allen to be cleared to play in time for the game.

That would be a blow for the Birds' secondary, as Allen's play had improved in recent weeks, but his absence would give rookie and Temple product Jaiquawn Jarrett his first chance to start. It's taken some time for Jarrett to gain the coach's trust, but he replaced Allen after he went down. Jarrett finished the game with three tackles.

Also of note, left guard Evan Mathis is also battling what was described as a turf toe injury. King Dunlap, who ordinarily substitutes at tackle, has been practicing in his place, and could get the start this week if Mathis is out. It would be Dunlap's first NFL start on the interior.

>> Kolb says toe is improving, but he still hasn't practiced [PFT]
>> Jarrett could start for concussed Allen [Birds' Eye View]
>> Dunlap prepping for first start at guard [CSN]

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks protesting anthem, Myke Tavarres doesn't

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks protesting anthem, Myke Tavarres doesn't

A day after flip-flopping on whether or not he planned to stand or sit during the national anthem, Myke Tavarres had nothing to say about this complex issue.

Tavarres, a rookie undrafted linebacker with the Eagles, told ESPN on Monday he planned to emulate 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and sit during the playing of the national anthem Thursday night prior to the Eagles’ preseason game against the Jets at The Linc.

Tavarres said he wanted to draw attention to racial inequality and social injustice with the demonstration.

"We’ve got an issue in this country in this day and age, and I feel like somebody needs to step up and we all need to step up,” Tavares  told ESPN.

But within a couple hours, Tavarres had changed his mind.

“Myke plans on standing for the national anthem,” his agent said in a statement. “Myke does not want to be a distraction to the Philadelphia Eagles organization. Mike’s goal is and will always be to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster and help the team win a Super Bowl.”

Kaepernick, who four years ago led the 49ers to the Super Bowl, spoke for 18½ minutes about his decision to sit during the Star-Spangled Banner.

Tavarres said at his locker after practice Tuesday he had nothing more to say.

“I made a statement through my agent last night,” he said. “If you have any other questions, please talk to him.”

Head coach Doug Pederson said he did not talk individually to Tavarres, a fringe prospect who is unlikely to survive this weekend’s roster cuts.

But he did discuss the broader issue in a meeting with the full team and said he believes his players should stand during the anthem.

“Listen, I can appreciate everybody's opinions and I respect everybody's opinions,” Pederson said.

“But at the same time, I feel that [the national anthem] is important and it's obviously out of respect for the men and women of our country that sacrifice in order for us to coach and play this great game.

“So I get it. I understand it. But at the same time, I encourage everybody to stand.”

If not yet suspended, Lane Johnson would start at RT in opener

If not yet suspended, Lane Johnson would start at RT in opener

The Eagles are just 12 days away from the season opener against the Browns. 

And Lane Johnson still isn't suspended. 

The Eagles' starting right tackle is facing a 10-game PED suspension once the B sample returns and shows the same peptide from an amino acid that his A sample did. Johnson expects it to, but it hasn't happened yet. On Aug. 13, after news broke about the looming suspension, Johnson said he thought the results from the B sample would come back in two to three weeks, although there's no set timetable.  

... Nothing yet. 

So, at what point do the Eagles, who shifted the offensive line in anticipation of the suspension, have to plan for Johnson to be active for the opener? 

"[That’s] a great question, and this is something that we wrestle with every day," head coach Doug Pederson said. "The conversations are such that we've got to have — especially offensively — just have a plan ready to go. 

"I'll tell you this: If he's ready to go, then he's our guy." 

Since news of the impending suspension broke, Johnson has been working with the second team at right tackle. To replace him, the Eagles moved Allen Barbre from left guard to right tackle and inserted rookie Isaac Seumalo at left guard. Seumalo stayed there until an injury forced Stefen Wisniewski into the lineup. 

If there's no suspension and Johnson is able to play in the opener, things would then shift back. Johnson would take his job at right tackle, and Barbre would go back to left guard, sending Seumalo and/or Wisniewski to the bench. 

"I think he had a tremendous camp and tremendous offseason at left guard, and you kind of put the pieces back in place," Pederson said of Barbre. "We've seen enough from the Isaacs and Wisniewskis, and Allen over there at right tackle that we know we've got the combination of guys — and ‘Big V’ (tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai) got plenty of reps — to sustain this thing through the duration."

For now, though, the Eagles aren't treating Johnson like a starter. The veteran will be playing on Thursday in the preseason finale against the Jets. It might be his last game until Nov. 28 against the Packers. Or not. 

The waiting game continues.

Tonight's lineup: Ryan Howard starts despite awful numbers vs. Max Scherzer

Tonight's lineup: Ryan Howard starts despite awful numbers vs. Max Scherzer

Despite having awful career numbers against Max Scherzer, Ryan Howard is in the Phillies' lineup against him Tuesday night.

Howard, 1 for 18 with 11 strikeouts against the Nationals' ace, bats fourth. 

Howard seems to be coming back to Earth. He hit .357 with seven home runs, four doubles and 16 RBIs in his first 20 games out of the All-Star break, but has gone 2 for 16 with two singles and eight strikeouts since.

Jimmy Paredes gets another start in left field. Peter Bourjos is out of the lineup for a fourth straight game.

The rest of the lineup is standard. Odubel Herrera, who bats second, is 6 for 19 with five walks in his career against Scherzer (see game notes).

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Cameron Rupp, C
6. Aaron Altherr, RF
7. Jimmy Paredes, LF
8. Freddy Galvis, SS
9. Jerad Eickhoff, P