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Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Decisions, decisions

Posted by Eric Fisher On August 30

It’s over.

Thank goodness.

One of the more dreadful preseasons in Eagles history concluded Thursday with the Birds avoiding a winless preseason by defeating the Jets, 10-9, at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles (1-3) picked up the win with an extra point by Jake Elliott following Joe Callahan’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Matt Jones with 18 seconds remaining.

The touchdown pass, the Eagles’ first touchdown in more than two full games, created a little drama, but the real drama occurs as the Eagles approach Saturday’s NFL deadline (4 p.m.) for reducing their roster to 53 players.

Jones carried nine times for 54 yards and caught a touchdown pass, but, after major problems hanging on to the football, that’s probably not enough to help him earn a roster spot behind running backs Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles and Corey Clement. Rookie Josh Adams didn’t do much to help himself, carrying 13 times for 27 yards.

The wild card in the running back competition is Donnel Pumphrey, a 4th-round draft pick in 2017, could be the wild card. Sidelined most of the preseason by an injury, Pumphrey only gained 3 yards on 1 carry Thursday, but he caught three passes for 39 yards from Christian Hackenberg during the final drive of the first half,. Pumphrey’s pass-catching ability could help him gain a roster spot.

Hackenberg, who led the team in rushing Thursday with 66 yards, had no shot at making the Eagles’ roster. The question is whether he did enough to earn a spot on the Eagles’ practice squad or get another team to sign him. Hackenberg completed 7 of 16 passes for 69 yards. Those numbers are unimpressive, but he was hurt by three dropped passes. The first interception appeared to be a bad route by the receiver, but Hackenberg’s second interception, which was returned to the Eagles’ 11-yard line, was a terrible throw.

After the second interception, the Jets advanced to the 1-yard line, but the defense stopped them on fourth-and-1 to keep the score 3-0.

Tight end Anthony Denham, signed this week, made a case for being the third tight end by catching three passes for 46 yards. Tight end Billy Brown caught five passes for 31 yards, but dropped a bullet from Hackenberg in traffic. With veteran Richard Rodgers injured, there could be a need for a third tight end.

Receiver DeAndre Carter continued to make his case for a roster spot with two catches for 37 yards. Greg Ward Jr. only made one catch for 12 yards, but it was a terrific grab for 12 yards on third down.

Callahan completed 18 of 26 passes for 164 yards, with an interception and touchdown. He may have done enough to draw interest from another team. With Carson Wentz, Nick Foles and Nate Sudfeld, the Eagles are set at quarterback.

But head coach Doug Pederson has difficult decisions to make, including at cornerback, where rookie Chandon Sullivan made his case with impressive play, including an interception.

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