With or Without Vick, Eagles-Browns a Week 1 Preview of Sorts

With or Without Vick, Eagles-Browns a Week 1 Preview of Sorts

As you've likely heard, Michael Vick will sit out tonight's exhibition game in Cleveland following Monday's scare, and there seems to be some dissent over whether he will be ready for the regular season opener. Andy Reid expects his quarterback to be ready for kickoff in two weeks, but according to Reuben Frank, Vick makes it sound less than certain. While Reid has been caught in fibs in the past, we're banking on a little gamesmanship on the quarterback's part.

Either way, it means Nick Foles has gained the opportunity to enhance his legend by making his first start against the Browns -- and this time we'll see how he fares against a first-string defense. Who knows, if Vick really is hurt worse than Reid is letting on, this could be the rookie's audition to get the ball in Week 1.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns plan to play their starters the entire first half. If Foles conducts himself well for a third-consecutive game, he just might jump Mike Kafka on the depth chart officially. It's still preseason, and these teams meet again to open the schedule, so he still won't see quite the wrinkles he would if it were September 9, but it's yet another test for the Canton-bound 23 year old (I kid, I kid).

Besides Vick, the Eagles starters should play about a quarter as well. That's good news for Foles, who must continue to prove himself out there, but it's also an opportunity for the defense to vindicate themselves somewhat. Juan Castillo and his unit have been knocked around by critics already this season, which is not all that unreasonable given the results thus far. If they get diced up by rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, there will be full-scale panic.

What we really need to see out of the defense are two things: fewer penalties and more stops on third down. The third down issue is more troubling, and harder to explain. As individuals, plenty of players have stood out with strong preseasons, but collectively, there always seems to be a breakdown when it's time to pin the offense to the mat. The issues seem to go hand-in-hand though, as penalties have already produced first downs for the opponent three times in very limited action.

Speaking of limited action, it's worth repeating that the starters should only play one quarter, this preseason winding down slightly earlier than normal. Of note, fifth-round pick Dennis Kelly will be at right tackle in place of Todd Herremans, who is out for personal reasons.

Otherwise there are some interesting position battles brewing. King Dunlap seems to have a choke hold on the left tackle spot for now, but may be walking a fine line there. Fourth rounder Brandon Boykin replaced Joselio Hanson at nickel corner last week. Bryce Brown is raising some eyebrows carrying the football. Does Jaiquawn Jarrett make this team? Is there a roster spot for Damaris Johnson at wide receiver?

But I think what everyone really wants to know is, limited or not, will we see a team that appears ready to play meaningful football?

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

Watch: Malcolm Jenkins saves Jon Dorenbos, who can't work his magic with bow tie

The magician himself needed help on this one.

His bow tie.

Hey, this is what teammates are for, right?

On Monday night, Eagles longsnapper and NBC's America's Got Talent star Jon Dorenbos emceed safety Malcolm Jenkins' third annual Blitz, Bow Ties and Bourbon charity event, which raises money for Philadelphia's youth and underserved communities.

Dorenbos, quite the wizard with his hands and card tricks, couldn't solve the bow tie.

“I had no clue,” Dorenbos said in an interview with CSN's John Clark. "In fact, this is the first bow tie I’ve ever worn.”

Jenkins had his back. Watch the Eagles' leader go to work and save Dorenbos in the video above.