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Doug Pederson on Ryan Mathews’ fumble: ‘It’s a dead ball, out of bounds’

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Dagnabbit, refs.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Pederson spoke with reporters Monday morning about plenty of things, and he spent a good chunk of time on the Ryan Mathews fumble late in the fourth quarter.

The fumble, of course, gave the Lions the ball in Eagles territory, down two points with just a few minutes left to play. The play was reviewed; because it was close to the sideline, it appeared players may have touched it while out of bounds, which would end the play and give the Eagles the ball back to punt it away on fourth down.

The explanation Doug Pederson was given, after the review concluded it hadn’t touched Jason Kelce?

“He didn’t touch it,” Pederson said he was told. “It wasn’t touched by us.”

Pederson seemed to think differently. He was asked how he understood the rule: if the ball touched Jason Kelce, who was out of bounds, then it’s a dead play, right?

“It is. It’s a dead ball, out of bounds. That’s the rule,” Pederson said. “That’s one of the things I wanted to make sure this morning that I was correct and accurate in that ruling. It’s just one of those things. We can’t cough the ball up.

“[Eagles manager of football compliance] Jon Ferrari, who’s very versed on the rules, he and I talked about it. We actually discussed it during the game, because these situations come up throughout the league, and we see video of this kind of stuff all the time. It’s something obviously it’s a turnover so it’s a booth situation, a booth review, and it’s out of our hands.”

Had the review concluded the ball had touched Kelce while he was out of bounds, the Lions would have started their last drive of the game with far different field position. Considering how well the Eagles’ defense played in the second half, it’s fair to wonder if the Lions wouldn’t have scored, and the Eagles would be 4-0 right now.

Pederson indicated the Eagles will include the play in a package of clips they’d like the league to review.

“We’ll send a few clips in after this game,” Pederson said, “but that’s not why we lost this football game.”

Sending clips of plays they’d like reviewed is not atypical; teams do this every week, whether it’s questionable penalties, egregious hits, or anything else. It’s just good to note that Pederson thinks this fumble and call is worth reviewing, because it certainly seems to be.

Injury update after Week 5

Pederson provided updates on a number of players’ injuries:

  • Bryan Braman suffered a left shoulder AC sprain. He’ll miss Wednesday’s practice, and should be good for Sunday’s game against Washington.
  • Leodis McKelvin’s hamstring got a little tight + sore during the game. He’ll miss Wednesday’s practice, and should be good for Sunday’s game against Washington.
  • Fletcher Cox had a slight problem with his left ankle, but Pederson says “he’s fine”
  • Dorial Green Beckham had left knee patellar tendonitis act up late in the game, but Pederson says “he’ll be fine”
  • Bennie Logan suffered a left calf spasm, but Pederson said he’ll be “fine”
  • Lane Johnson suffered a right elbow hyperextension in the game, the injury which Pederson called “probably the more significant one.” He could be limited in Wednesday’s practice, but should be good for Sunday’s game against Washington, if he’s not suspended before then.

If the Eagles are without Lane Johnson, either because of injury or suspension, it looks like Halapoulivaati Vaitai is the man they’ll go with at right tackle.