Eagles' 53-man roster projection includes a shift at quarterback

Quarterback Josh McCown, who announced his retirement this summer to spend more time with his family, has returned to play his 17th NFL season with the Eagles. Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

The Philadelphia Eagles will cut their roster to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET Saturday. Here's a projection:

QUARTERBACK (3): Carson Wentz, Josh McCown, Nate Sudfeld

McCown will serve as Wentz's backup while Sudfeld recovers from a broken wrist, and possibly beyond. Cody Kessler was in line for that gig before the Eagles successfully lured McCown out of retirement. Now Kessler's roster spot is in serious jeopardy. Rookie Clayton Thorson could use a year on the practice squad.

RUNNING BACK (4): Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard, Corey Clement, Darren Sproles

Wendell Smallwood has had a good summer and could make his way onto the 53-man roster. He could also be traded to a more running-back needy team.

WIDE RECEIVER (5): Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Mack Hollins

Former University of Houston quarterback Greg Ward has had an impressive summer and could be a useful slot receiver for an NFL team, but is competing with a talented group in Philly. He would probably be the next man in if the Eagles decide to keep six receivers.

TIGHT END (3): Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert , Josh Perkins

Richard Rodgers is out multiple weeks with a foot injury. If the Eagles believe he can return this season, one option is to carry him on the initial 53-man roster and then place him on injured reserve so he's eligible to return.

OFFENSIVE LINE (10): Jason Peters, Lane Johnson, Andre Dillard, Jordan Mailata, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Isaac Seumalo, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Stefen Wisniewski, Matt Pryor

Wisniewski's stock seems to have dropped this summer. His spot is one to watch, but with Brooks coming back from an Achilles injury, it's not a bad idea to hold onto a proven vet at guard.

DEFENSIVE LINE (11): Fletcher Cox, Malik Jackson, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Tim Jernigan, Vinny Curry, Shareef Miller, Josh Sweat, Hassan Ridgeway, Treyvon Hester, Daeshon Hall

Hall has had a very strong preseason and, according to defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, has put himself in good position heading into cut-down day. Eleven is a lot of D-linemen to carry, but it's talent worth holding onto.

LINEBACKER (5): Nigel Bradham, Zach Brown, Kamu Grugier-Hill, L.J. Fort, Nathan Gerry

Five is a low number with Bradham (toe) and Grugier-Hill (knee) nursing injuries, but the Eagles generally operate with two linebackers on the field and can probably get by. Rookie T.J. Edwards could end up making the team.

SECONDARY (9): Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones, Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod, Rasul Douglas, Andrew Sendejo, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Avonte Maddox, Johnathan Cyprien

Jalen Mills (foot) is eligible to start on PUP. If Orlando Scandrick doesn't make the initial roster, he could get brought back early in the season when a spot opens up.

SPECIALIST (3): K Jake Elliott, P Cameron Johnston, LS Rick Lovato

Elliott has not been as sure-footed this preseason as coach Doug Pederson would like, but his spot is not in jeopardy for now.