NFL

Will Eagles starters play vs. Cowboys? If it was up to them, yes

Nick Sirianni Eagles
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles don’t have all that much to gain in their Week 18 regular-season finale on Saturday night against the Dallas Cowboys.

Depending on how the dominoes fall in the final week, Nick Sirianni’s men will have either the No. 6 or No. 7 seed — both Wild Card spots — heading into the postseason.

It’s created the overarching question this week of whether or not the first-year head coach will roll out his starters even with their postseason standing basically sealed and with the Eagles dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak that saw 12 starters shelved because of it.

“We haven’t decided anything there yet,” Sirianni said earlier this week. “We don’t have to decide right now. We’re preparing like we would normally prepare … So, we’re trying to get our plan ready. We’re trying to rip through that.”

On Thursday, he admitted that he and his coaching staff are still discussing the possibilities of giving Philadelphia’s main contributors a Saturday night off.

Ask his players, though, and they’ll tell you that they want to suit up.

“I feel like I need to be out there,” rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith said, according to John McMullen of Sports Illustrated. “I feel like the whole team needs to be out there. It’s a momentum thing. We’ve kind of got everything going in the right direction, so just keep that momentum building.”

The same sentiment was echoed by starting quarterback Jalen Hurts.

“I love football, and I’m preparing,” he said. “It’s business as usual.”

Any concerns about potential injury seem to be on the back burner as the classic debate of rest vs. rust seems to have support for just one side.

“I’d rather play football,” defensive tackle Javon Hargrave said. “Any time you can try to get a sack, I’m going to go forward… I love to play.”

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