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Eagles vs. Ravens: Players to watch

Eliot Shorr-Parks
August 22, 2019 - 8:48 am
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The real action for the Eagles and Baltimore Ravens has already happened, with the two teams holding intense, physical practices this week at the NovaCare Complex. 

That doesn’t mean the game at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday night is meaningless. 

With the starters getting most of the work this past week in joint practices, and expected to sit on Thursday night, it will be the backups turn to try to impress the coaches. For the Eagles, that means a look at some key roster-bubble players, trying to get more tape on players that are either competing for a roster spot or playing time. 

Here are five players to watch against the Ravens tonight: 

Clayton Thorson: Thorson might be the most improved player in camp over the last two weeks. He was a disaster at the start of camp, mostly checking the ball down and at times having issues even doing that. Lately, however, Thorson has been showing off the kind of potential that made the Eagles draft him in the fifth round. Thorson took a big step forward last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, playing much better than he did in his first preseason action against Tennessee Titans. The Eagles have to decide if Thorson would clear waivers or whether they need to keep four quarterbacks on their roster. How Thorson plays on Thursday, with the rest of the league watching, could go a long way in deciding whether he makes the team. 

Josh Sweat: Sweat has had a very solid preseason so far, with the coaches coming away with what they have seen. What Sweat is still missing is a big-play moment, a chance to show off what his incredible athleticism can produce if given the chance. Sweat is currently the fourth defensive end on the depth chart, but Daeshaon Hall is quickly approaching coming off of a big game last Thursday against the Jaguars. Sweat can end the competition with a big game against the Ravens. 

Corey Clement: This past week was a big one for Clement, who finally came off of the sideline and got onto the field with the first-team offense. Clement got the bulk of the work against the Ravens on the first day of joint-practices, a sign that the team is still very interested in seeing what he can bring to the roster if healthy. It isn’t completely clear if Clement will play on Thursday against the Jets, but if he does, he can lock down a roster spot with a strong showing. 

Mack Hollins: Hollins had an up-and-down week against the Ravens. On Monday he caught his first touchdown of training camp, pulling in a pass from quarterback Carson Wentz from about 15-yards out in a red zone drill. Then, on Tuesday, he dropped what should have been a 40-plus yard touchdown from Wentz during an intense 11-on-11 drill. Hollins’ roster spot is pretty close to locked up considering the role he has on special teams, but entering his third season, the receiver likely wants a role in the offense as well. Head coach Doug Pederson has mentioned what Hollins can bring to the team in the red zone. Thursday is a good chance for Hollins to show Pederson he can be a contributor on offense as well. 

Orlando Scandrick: The veteran cornerback has had a rocky showing since joining the Eagles, struggling in both training camp practices and the preseason games. The Eagles signed Scandrick hoping he would be able to give them quality snaps until Cre’von LeBlanc was healthy, but so far that hasn’t been the case. Scandrick’s roster spot is very much in question heading into Thursday night. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

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