Eagles to give Bradford big reps vs. Steelers

Eagles to give Bradford big reps vs. Steelers

Sam Bradford barely made a cameo appearance in the Eagles’ preseason opener vs. Tampa Bay. Tonight, though, the seventh-year quarterback could see his heaviest workload of the month.

According to new leader Doug Pederson, Bradford and the first-team offense will stay on the field through the first quarter against Pittsburgh. The Steelers, however, are listed as 3-point favorites in advance of the 7 p.m. ET kickoff at Heinz Field. As for the over/under, it holds steady at 38.

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A week ago, Bradford participated in a grand total of three snaps. While the former No. 1 overall pick won’t work with top target Jordan Matthews (knee) this evening, at least he’ll get multiple series in Pederson’s system. Bradford threw for 3,725 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, frequently struggling to conduct then-head coach Chip Kelly’s up-tempo attack.

Ben Roethlisberger has successfully manned the controls in the Steel City for over a decade, but he’ll take a seat here. Backup signal-caller Bruce Gradkowski is dealing with a hamstring injury, too, meaning plenty of reps for Landry Jones and Dustin Vaughn. Both individuals should benefit from the return of center Maurkice Pouncey, who missed the team’s exhibition debut as he continues to rehab from last year’s broken leg.

Once Bradford’s ready to don the baseball cap, he’ll hand the reins over to Chase Daniel. (Rookie Carson Wentz suffered a hairline fracture of his ribs against the Bucs.) It’ll be interesting to see how the ex-Missouri standout deals with a shuffled offensive line. Lane Johnson’s looming suspension forced Philly to move left guard Allen Barbre to right tackle. Third-round selection Isaac Seumalo thus assumes Barbre’s old spot.

Even so, the Steelers don’t appear willing to put up much of a struggle here. Besides Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams will all watch from the sidelines. In what could be an ugly affair, take the Eagles to do just enough to secure the road win.

 

THURSDAY NFL FREE PICK: EAGLES +3

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