PHILADELPHIA (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins will get a good look at most of the team’s projected starters when they face the Philadelphia Eagles in the all-important third preseason game.
Of Miami’s 22 projected starters on Thursday, all but two of them are expected to be first teamers when the Dolphins face Tampa Bay on September 10 to kick off the regular season.
The left guard position is still up in the air following injuries to Ted Larsen (biceps, out through at least Week 8) and Kraig Urbik (knee, out through at least Week 1).
Jesse Davis has been working with the first team and could be who ends up starting until Urbik is ready to return.
Additionally, newly signed linebacker Rey Maualuga will not play against Philly but he’s expected to be Miami’s starting MLB when the season begins.
The dress rehearsal game will be the Dolphins only opportunity to see how the first teamers fare against top-notch talent.
The majority of Miami’s starters should play the entire first half and part of the third quarter, with a few exceptions.
Center Mike Pouncey will start for the Dolphins but he’ll likely only play between 10 and 15 snaps.
Miami has taken things very slowly with Pouncey after recurring hip injuries threatened to end his career.
The former Pro Bowler will be seeing his first game action since last November.
GAME INFO: Kickoff 7:00 PM, Lincoln Financial Field
GAME MATCHUP: Miami Dolphins (1-1, 0-0 away) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1, 1-0 home)
Jay Cutler and the Dolphins offense will be given plenty of opportunities to get in-sync. The game will provide the unit a solid test as the Eagles feature one of the better defensive lines in the NFC.
Cutler may still be playing catch-up after being signed two weeks into training camp following the season-ending injury to Ryan Tannehill.
The first team offense will be looking to make some noise after producing just a field goal during Miami’s first two preseason games.
Look for the Dolphins to make a concentrated effort rushing the football. Miami is averaging a measly 2.6 yards per carry but that stat is somewhat misleading.
Starting running back Jay Ajayi has carried the ball twice during the preseason while his backup, Kenyan Drake, has just four rushing attempts.
One of the Dolphins’ strengths heading into the season is their secondary, though the unit is coming off a tough week against Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz.
The Dolphins and Eagles held two days of joint practices this week and Wentz got the better of Miami time and time again.
Philadelphia’s top receivers, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Torrey Smith will provide a great challenge for Miami’s ball hawking defensive backs which includes safety Nate Allen, who will see his first action of the preseason after dealing with a groin injury.
- This will be the tenth time that Miami and Philadelphia face off in the preseason, with the Dolphins holding a 5-4 advantage.
- For Miami, G Kraig Urbik (knee), LB Neville Hewitt (back), LB Jordan Watts (back), S Jordan Lucas (groin) and LB Rey Maualuga (coaches decision) are out. S Nate Allen (groin), T Ja’Wuan James (shoulder) and RB Kenyan Drake (concussion) are probable.
- Eagles QB Nick Foles (elbow), WR Bryce Treggs (calf), DE Derek Barnett (leg), DE Brandon Graham (triceps) and LB Jordan Hicks (groin) are questionable.
TV: The game can be seen on CBS-WFOR in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. CBS4 is your official home for Miami Dolphins football.
RADIO: You can hear the game on AM 560-WQAM, FM 99.9-WKIS and AM 1140-WQBA (Spanish).