NFL preseason 2015 schedule: Andrew Luck, Colts starters will get work against Eagles on Sunday

The Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles are both potential playoff contenders this season, though the former has a lot less to prove than the latter at this stage of the preseason. If Chip Kelly has done anything since taking over the Eagles, it’s shape the entire roster to his whims. Every coach wants to bring in his own players, of course, but Kelly got rid of some awfully good players as part of his overhaul.

He started it prior to last season, and things went pretty well for him as the Eagles were one of the better teams in the NFC and competed for the NFC East all the way up until Week 17. But now with even more roster turnover, including a new starting quarterback and running back, the Eagles are both intensely interesting and also a big question mark.

A solid runner who can also contribute in the passing game, Spiller didn’t quite work out as a feature back in Buffalo, but seems to fit a lot better as a supplemental piece in a Drew Brees-led offense. Mark Ingram is the starter in New Orleans, and Spiller figures to be a big part of the offense in both the running and passing game. He just needs to get healthy first.

Heading into Thursday’s preseason game against the Cleveland Browns, Washington had Niles Paul as the starting tight end, a hamstring injury hampering backup Jordan Reed and an uncertain future for Logan Paulsen due to a toe injury. There were also a couple backups, including Je’Ron Hamm.

Unfortunately, Paul sustained an fractured ankle in the game, and will miss the entire 2015 season. After the game, Washington announced that Paulsen will require surgery on his toe and will also miss the entire season. Hamm sustained an injury during the aforementioned game as well, though his is less serious. So for now, the top tight ends are Reed and Hamm, and neither are 100 percent healthy at this stage. It’s rough being a tight end in D.C.

Myke Tavarres will now stand for national anthem Thursday

Philadelphia Eagles rookie linebacker Myke Tavarres has reversed course and will now stand for the national anthem Thursday after earlier saying he would sit it out in protest.

Romo’s latest injury is unlike the back injury the quarterback sustained in 2014, when he fractured two transverse processes. Transverse processes are small projections on the vertebrae where soft tissue attaches, but they have no real role in load-bearing. In football, fractures to transverse processes are not uncommon when there is a direct hit, and the result is bruising and pain at the fracture site. Players can typically return to play as the pain allows, even as the bone continues to heal, because of the low risk involved. Romo returned to play two weeks after sustaining the injury.

What did we learn of note over the past four days? Let’s recount six winners and four losers. Because if you can’t be optimistic in August, when can you?

Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings quarterback: Bridgewater shrugged off a sore shoulder and displayed the kind of downfield aggression he will need to take the next step as an NFL starter. In a two-minute drill to end Sunday’s first half, Bridgewater completed three consecutive passes that traveled at least 15 yards in the air. His first was a 19-yard strike to Charles Johnson over the middle, followed by a 22-yard pass to Stefon Diggs near the sideline. Then he threw high and hard to tight end Kyle Rudolph for a 22-yard touchdown. Runner-up: Sunglasses salesmen in Minnesota. The debut of U.S. Bank Stadium was notable mostly for the natural light that shone through the transparent roof and glass walls. Observers on site noticed more than a few fans wearing sunglasses — indoors.

John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens coach: Harbaugh has become a truth-teller on NFL tradition and myth, and his call for an end to preseason games struck the right chord. Yes, the Ravens on Saturday night lost two players to injury, tight end Benjamin Watson and running back Kenneth Dixon. But part of the NFL argument for maintaining the preseason has been the perceived desire from coaches to provide gamelike evaluation and development opportunities, injuries or not. Harbaugh poked a hole in that view with common sense. “Coaches can find ways to get our guys ready and get our players evaluated without the kind of risk that a game necessarily entails,” he told reporters. The biggest obstacle, frankly, is finding a way to replace the revenue that owners would lose by eliminating part or all of the preseason. Any suggestions, John?

The central portion of a spinal vertebra is called the body, and it is architecturally constructed to absorb load, especially in the lower back area. When viewed under a microscope, the bony infrastructure of the vertebral body reveals scaffold-like elements, similar to rebar frames used in construction. The anatomical design reinforces the ability of the vertebra to bear weight, along with any additional load incurred deliberately (when carrying or lifting) or accidentally (while falling).

If the physics of a load or collision, however, exceed what the structure is designed to accommodate, the structure will fail. That excess loading happened to Romo’s spine, resulting in a compression fracture of L1, the first lumbar vertebra. There are five lumbar or low back vertebrae; the L1 is the topmost.