By Ed Benkin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It has been a busy week of practice for the Eagles and Miami Dolphins in South Philadelphia. On Thursday, the two teams will head down the road to the Linc.

The Eagles and Dolphins will battle in the third preseason game of the summer. It will be a chance for both teams to get together for an official preseason game after holding joint practices on Monday and Tuesday.

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Credit: Ed Benkin

For Carson Wentz, the week with the Dolphins at NovaCare was a productive one which broke up the regular routine of preseason practice work.

“They’re definitely valuable,” said Wentz. “We’ve been going up against our defense for quite a long time. You start to figure out each other pretty well.  It’s good to just get some other faces out there and a little different scheme with different things that they do. It was a really productive two days.”

This will be the third preseason game of the summer and the third contest usually involves more time for the top players on both sides of the ball. However, Coach Doug Pederson did not divulge his rotation plans for his top units Thursday night and emphasized the work his team put in during the joint practices were also productive in the team’s preparation for the regular season.

Credit: Ed Benkin

“I haven’t decided,” Pederson said. “We got in a lot of good work the last couple of days.  I want to see where they’re at health-wise. Typically in this game as you know, two quarters in a half, and a little bit into the third, but I haven’t made that decision yet.  I’m going to wait and see how the guys are after these couple of days.”
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While many of the top players will see more action Thursday night, the reserves as well as the rookies will see their fair share of time on the field.  One rookie is Running Back Donnel Pumphrey, who has struggled in the early part of the preseason.

The fourth-round draft choice says he is starting to get back on track with the third preseason game on the horizon.

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“I feel like these have been my best practices this past week,” said Pumphrey.  “I feel like the game is starting to come back to me.  I’m just continuing to get my confidence back.”

Even with more time for the top players, the third preseason game is likely to be a distant memory by the time the regular season kicks off.  Fans may have concerns if the top unit struggles, but it will all be forgotten if the Eagles get off to a strong start against Washington on September 10th.

Still, the head coach would like to see progress.

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“Just a little bit better execution,” Pederson said.  “We need to start a little bit better…start the game a little bit better.  You’d love to see points and score maybe a couple of times, but we just need to clean up.  We had too many penalties last week.  We need to come out and play a clean football game.”