Eagles have 7 first-year players slated to start Monday

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Philadelphia will rely on its youth against the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football.

The struggling Philadelphia Eagles will need to rely on seven first-year players for Monday night's game against the Carolina Panthers, reports Philly.com's Zach Berman.

Seven of those draft picks made the team, and for the first time this season, all seven will be active when the Eagles host the Carolina Panthers on Monday night.

Of those seven - defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, linebacker Mychal Kendricks, defensive end Vinny Curry, quarterback Nick Foles, Boykin, offensive lineman Dennis Kelly, and running back Bryce Brown - five will start. That includes Foles and Brown, replacing concussed Pro Bowlers Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy. Add in first-year fullback Stanley Havili and center Dallas Reynolds, both starting after spending 2011 on the practice squad, and the Eagles will list seven first-year players as starters.

Berman noted that will be more than any other team in the NFL this weekend, and the average among division leaders is 1.25 first-year starters.

The infusion of youth "is a tribute to the Eagles' 2012 draft, which appears markedly better than their 2010 and 2011 classes," Berman wrote.

No rookie will have a bigger spotlight shined on him than Foles. The third-round pick out of Arizona started his first game last week against the Washington Redskins. He was 21-for-46 for 204 yards and no touchdowns. He threw two interceptions.

In the previous week, Foles replaced Michael Vick mid-game against the Dallas Cowboys. Foles had better success then, completing 68 percent of his passes for 219 yards and a touchdown. He threw just one interception.

The Eagles and Panthers kickoff at 8:30 p.m. ET on Monday.

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