Philadelphia Eagles: Joe Flacco earns Week 1 nod over Gardner Minshew

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

In the NFL, teams aren’t allowed to have all 53 of their players active on gamedays.

No, even with the expanded gameday eligibility initially established in 2020 that has rolled over into the current season, five-seven players have to spend their afternoon/evening in street clothes, in addition to all of the players on the practice squad who haven’t been called up.

For the Philadelphia Eagles, the biggest question surrounding their initial inactive list was an easy one: Joe Flacco or Gardner Minshew?

Now granted, this likely wasn’t a particularly tough call Nick Sirianni, Howie Roseman, and company. Minshew has called the City of Brotherly Love home for less than a month since being acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars after the preseason finale and is surely still learning the playback. But, with Minshewmania in full effect as only Philly’s love for an eccentric backup quarterback can, fans will have to wait a little bit longer to see the ‘stache make his debut in a number 10 midnight green jersey, as the pride of Audubon, New Jersey will be backing up Jalen Hurts on his first start of the 2021 NFL season.

But wait, there’s more. The Philadelphia Eagles made a few more unique decisions that may come into play when they take on the Atlanta Falcons later this afternoon.

Gardner Minshew isn’t the only notable name on the Philadelphia Eagles’ inactive list.

Gardner Minshew, Rodney McLeod, Landon Dickerson, Davion Taylor, Mac McCain; someday down the line, at least three of those players could be fixtures of the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting lineup but today, they are all inactive.

Surprising? Hardly.

McLeod and Dickerson spent their entire summers on the PUP List and were only activated a few days before the final trim down to 53 players. While the duo should be ready to see the field sooner than later, with McLeod expected to be back as soon as Week 2, neither are quite ready to go even in a reserve role just yet.

Taylor’s situation is somewhat similar too. After turning heads early in camp and even receiving some first-team looks alongside Minnesota transplant Eric Wilson, Taylor’s summer was sidelined via injury, and he had to watch players like Genard Avery, Patrick Johnson, and Shaun Bradley flourish in his absence.

Will Taylor be back in the linebacker rotation once he’s back to full strength? If so, how much will he play, and at what position? Needless to say, Taylor’s eventual return will be fascinating to watch.

And as for McCain? Well, considering he’s been a member of the Eagles for about a week, it’s not too surprising to see him sidelined for Week 1, as he’d really only be able to contribute on special teams at this point. Down the line, McCain may be a valuable reserve for the Eagles (more on that here), but today, he’s out.

Mac McCain isn’t just another body at cornerback. dark. Next

In a perfect world, Landon Dickerson, Rodney McLeod, and Davion Taylor would all be active today to either start, contribute or serve as the team’s top interior reserve. Because of injuries, they aren’t. While injuries aren’t forever, and all three will be back sooner than later, if/when Gardner Minshew joins that group will be a fascinating storyline to watch, as if the preseason proved anything, it’s that Joe Flacco isn’t going to win the Philadelphia Eagles a lot of games if his number gets called.