Expect bigger roles for some of the Philadelphia Eagles’ rookies in Week 6.
The Philadelphia Eagles lost for the first time in 2016 against the Detroit Lions Sunday, which certainly isn’t fun. However, there are some positives to take away from the loss regarding some of the Eagles’ youngsters.
Carson Wentz played like a seasoned veteran once again, Jalen Mills set himself up to receive more opportunities as an outside cornerback and another Eagles rookie will soon make his regular season debut.
Wentz’s stellar play shouldn’t even be surprising at this point. Aside from the game-ending interception he threw on a deep ball to Nelson Agholor (who probably could have done more to keep it from being picked), Wentz had a tremendous day against the Lions.
This throw was particularly impressive from the first-year quarterback.
One of Carson Wentz's most impressive plays against the Lions: His beautiful 27-yard back-shoulder throw to Jordan Matthews on the move. pic.twitter.com/bypAqTVZr1
After rushing for 79 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in Week 3, Smallwood failed to record a stat against the Lions. With Ryan Mathews returning to his role as the team’s primary back, Smallwood saw a drastic decrease in snaps. After Mathews’ fumble that ultimately cost the Eagles a win in Detroit, expect to see a little more of Smallwood against the Washington Redskins Sunday.
Mills returned to his initial role as the Eagles’ fourth cornerback last week, but immediately went back to playing on the outside when Leodis McKelvin went down with his second hamstring injury over the last month.
While Mills still needs improvement as an outside corner, he has outperformed McKelvin thus far and may see an increased role on the outside.
Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mills allowed 9 receptions on 10 targets for 146 yards. He improved tremendously against Detroit and is beginning to show flashes of potential on the outside.
In case you missed it, Lane Johnson has officially been suspended for 10 games, which is less than ideal for the Eagles’ offense. Rookie tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, drafted in the fifth round (164 overall) in this year’s draft, will be taking over for Johnson at right guard. Vaitai showed flashes of potential this preseason and could end up being a pleasant surprise for a team that could use some extra help on the offensive line.