PHILADELPHIA - Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry finally got to wear his uniform Thursday.

Curry, the Eagles' second-round draft pick in 2012, made his season debut against Kansas City after spending the first two games on the inactive list.

He made an impact early in the game by forcing Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith into an incompletion.

"I definitely want to be out there," Curry said earlier in the week. "The only thing I can do is keep working and practicing hard."

Curry enjoyed a solid training camp and played well in the preseason, but found himself watching the season-opening victory at Washington and last Sunday's loss to San Diego while wearing a warmup suit on the sideline.

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Billy Davis opted to use free-agent pickup Clifton Geathers and rookie free agent Damion Square as backups to starters Cedric Thornton and Fletcher Cox.

"Everybody's competing for positions on this team," Kelly said earlier in the week. "When you're cutting from 53 to 46 players (for games), (deciding) who is active and inactive is a difficult thing to do.

"It's how we practiced during the week. It's how do they fit into the game plan you're putting together offensively, defensively and special teams-wise."

Curry, a former standout at Neptune High School, had to wait around a lot last season. He was deactivated for the first 10 games before finally getting a shot. The 6-foot-3, 279-pounder registered nine tackles and no sacks in six games.

He was expected to play a much bigger role this season and showed early promise while making the transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense during the preseason.

Starting this season on the sidelines again made him frustrated.

"I was very surprised (to be deactivated for the first two games)," Curry said. "If somebody had told me that was going to happen I never would have believed it. I just try to stay patient and do whatever I can to help the team, even if I'm not playing."

Curry was one of two Eagles to make their season debuts on Thursday.

Cornerback Shaun Prater, who was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati just prior to the start of the season, replaced Jordan Poyer as a backup to starters Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams, plus slot cornerback Brandon Boykin.

The move was mildly surprising, considering Prater has been with the team for less than three weeks.

"He's coming along," Kelly said of Prater earlier this week. "We picked him up after the cut down to 53, so I know those (assistant coaches) are working very hard with him. Shaun's working very hard himself.

"We're hoping to get a chance to get him acclimated. But it's also not fair to him to throw him in the field if he doesn't understand what we're doing and expect him to make a play on a Thursday night or Sunday. But he's coming along and we hope to have a chance to get him involved here soon."

McNabb heading to A.C.

Former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who had his No. 5 jersey retired Thursday, will celebrate his honor in Atlantic City today and Saturday.

Current Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, and former teammates Brian Dawkins and Brian Westbrook are scheduled to be among the guests at a cocktail reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. today at Caesars Atlantic City's Palladium Ballroom foyer. Other sports celebrities such as Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Ray Lewis are also on the guest list.

On Saturday, McNabb will host a party at The Pool After Dark at Harrah's Resort from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Tickets are available starting at $20.

Roster move

The Eagles signed cornerback Roc Carmichael off Houston's practice squad earlier in the week.

They freed up a roster spot by placing cornerback Brandon Hughes on injured reserve (strained hamstring). Hughes, who played in last week's 33-30 loss to the Chargers, is expected to be released.

Carmichael was deactivated for Thursday's game, along with quarterback Matt Barkley, tight end Emil Igwenagu, tackle Dennis Kelly, Poyer, Square and tackle Matt Tobin.

Up ahead

The Eagles will play the first of three straight road games when they travel to Denver to face quarterback Peyton Manning and the talented Broncos on Sunday, Sept. 29. The Eagles will be making their first trip to Denver since Oct. 30, 2005, when they suffered a 49-21 loss. That was wide receiver Terrell Owens' final game as an Eagle.

Contact David Weinberg:

609-272-7186