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Philadelphia Eagles playing time analysis: Tight ends carry the load, Derek Barnett returns, Miles Sanders gets work and more logo 9/21/2020 By Daniel Gallen,

PHILADELPHIA — It seemed like there was reason for plenty of optimism entering this weekend for the Eagles when the team released its Friday injury report. Plenty of key players on both sides of the ball returned after missing Week 1, and the Eagles looked poised to rebound after their defeat in the season opener.

That wasn’t the case. The Rams raced out to an early lead, held on during the middle portion of the game and then pulled away late for a 37-19 win.

Here’s a look at how the playing time broke down at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.

Quarterbacks (out of 71 offensive snaps): Carson Wentz (71), Jalen Hurts (3), Nate Sudfeld (inactive).

Analysis: The Eagles finally worked in Hurts as the No. 2 quarterback after he was inactive last week. He was a decoy on all three of his snaps, and Wentz faked in his direction a couple times.

Running backs: Miles Sanders (55), Boston Scott (13), Corey Clement (3), Jason Huntley (inactive).

Analysis: Sanders joked that he hoped the Eagles wouldn’t limit his workload in his return from a hamstring injury, and that certainly wasn’t the case after he carried 20 times for 95 yards and caught three passes for 36 yards.

Read more: Philadelphia Eagles' ‘self-inflicted’ mistakes plague defense in loss to Los Angeles Rams

Wide receivers: Jalen Reagor (60), DeSean Jackson (55), J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (16), Greg Ward (13), John Hightower (7), Alshon Jeffery (inactive).

Analysis: Last week, the wide receiver rotation was a little more even. But Arcea-Whiteside and Hightower’s snap counts dipped dramatically, while Reagor and Jackson took on more playing time. The deep shots weren’t there this week, but the offense made a concerted effort to get Jackson involved in the second half, when all six of his catches came.

Tight ends: Zach Ertz (67), Dallas Goedert (63), Richard Rodgers (0).

Analysis: There were plenty of two tight end sets from the Eagles on Sunday, and Ertz and Goedert combined for nine catches on 15 targets for 72 yards.

Read more: Eagles rewind: Jalen Hurts makes his debut, Carson Wentz’s stock falls and more after Rams loss

Offensive line: Jason Peters (71), Jason Kelce (71), Nate Herbig (71), Lane Johnson (69), Matt Pryor (46), Isaac Seumalo (25), Jack Driscoll (2), Jordan Mailata (0), Jamon Brown (inactive), Sua Opeta (inactive).

Analysis: Seumalo went down in the first half with a knee injury and did not return, and Pryor took his spot in the lineup. Wentz didn’t take a sack, and Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald was limited to one tackle and one quarterback hit on the day. It was a solid rebound for this group.

Defensive ends (out of 69 defensive snaps): Brandon Graham (44), Josh Sweat (39), Derek Barnett (33), Casey Toohill (22), Genard Avery (inactive).

Analysis: Graham (concussion) and Barnett (hamstring) were both questionable entering the game, but both were able to play. Graham had a key sack late in the first half to take three points off the board by forcing the Rams out of field goal range. Sweat got the start over Barnett, while Toohill made his NFL debut.

Read more: Eagles' Carson Wentz discusses costly third-quarter interception in loss to Rams

Defensive tackles: Fletcher Cox (48), Malik Jackson (41), Javon Hargrave (25), Hassan Ridgeway (23).

Analysis: Cox had another quiet-ish week with four tackles and a tackle for loss, while Jackson was quieter after an impressive Week 1. Hargrave made his Eagles debut after sitting out last week, but he did not record any statistics.

Linebackers: Nathan Gerry (69), Duke Riley (49), T.J. Edwards (29), Shaun Bradley (0), Alex Singleton (0), Davion Taylor (0).

Analysis: Gerry played every snap for the defense, but he got burned badly by Rams tight end Tyler Higbee in the fourth quarter on a touchdown that helped ice the game. Edwards made a key special teams play.

Read more: ‘Don’t panic. We’ll be OK’: Eagles staring down tough uphill climb after back-to-back losses

Cornerbacks: Avonte Maddox (69), Darius Slay (67), Nickell Robey-Coleman (41), Cre’Von LeBlanc (3), Trevor Williams (2).

Analysis: Robey-Coleman had a rough day against his former team, and Williams made his Eagles debut when he spelled Slay for a couple plays after Slay ran down a running back for a touchdown-saving tackle and came up slow.

Safeties: Rodney McLeod (69), Jalen Mills (69), Marcus Epps (16), Rudy Ford (0), K’Von Wallace (0).

Analysis: Epps made his first career start as the third safety with the Eagles going heavier with their “big nickel” package, which got plenty of work against the Rams. Wallace had a key fumble recovery on special teams.

Read more: How former Penn State star Miles Sanders fared with Philadelphia Eagles in his 2020 debut

Special teams (out of 25 special teams snaps): T.J. Edwards (21), Marcus Epps (21), Rudy Ford (21), Duke Riley (16), Corey Clement (15), K’Von Wallace (15), Shaun Bradley (15), Alex Singleton (15), Rodney McLeod (12), Richard Rodgers (12), Nickell Robey-Coleman (11) … Jake Elliott (8), Cameron Johnston (5), Rick Lovato (5).

Analysis: Special teams helped keep the Eagles in the game when Edwards forced a fumble late in the first half to help set up a touchdown that brought the Eagles to within five entering the break.

Daniel Gallen covers the Philadelphia Eagles for PennLive. He can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Follow PennLive’s Philadelphia Eagles coverage on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


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