Doug Pederson addressed reporters on Wednesday as the Eagles started gearing up for a Monday Night Football showdown with the Packers.
Due to a pre-scheduled haircut and work, BGN was busy during the presser, but the rest of the tremendous Eagles beat writer flock was not, so we’re going to lean on them this morning to keep you updated. Here’s a Tweetcap of what Pederson touched on, with some analysis:
On Nelson Agholor’s status for the Packers game
Much has been made of Agholor’s frame of mind in the last few days since the Eagles’ loss to Seattle, in which Agholor played possibly his most detrimental game as a professional football player.
Here’s what Pederson said on Wednesday:
Pederson: Spoke to Agholor. Will keep private. Haven't decided yet if Agholor will play on Monday Night. Has to see how the week plays out.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) November 23, 2016
Doug Pederson said Nelson Agholor has seen a sports psychologist over the last couple weeks.— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) November 23, 2016
Pederson said even if Agholor plays Monday, he'll think about lessening his load. #Eagles— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroCSN) November 23, 2016
Pederson saying that he talked to Agholor is of course unsurprising, as is his desire to keep the discussion private. If you’d asked me on Monday whether I thought Agholor would play against the Packers, I would have said no.
After what Pederson said today, I’d walk that back to more of a 50-50 shot. Pederson’s been fairly honest with reporters this season, and he’s a straight shooter: if Agholor shows him what he wants to see, I think Agholor plays in a reduced role on Monday.
Either way, whatever happens will be very interesting, and very telling both for Pederson and Agholor.
On the team’s injuries
Pederson provided updates on Eagles who are currently injured, and their statuses for Wednesday’s practice:
Doug Pederson: Connor Barwin (right knee bone bruise), Ryan Mathews, Leodis McKelvin (concussion), Darren Sproles, Big V won't practice.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) November 23, 2016
As Les Bowen of the Daily News had previously reported, Vaitai is “week to week” according to Pederson, which in the past has meant “will miss at least one game” for other injured players.
Bowen says Vaitai is expected to be out at least until Lane Johnson’s suspension is over:
Pederson: Barwin and Mathews won’t practice, ditto Sproles and McKelvin. Vaitai obviously -- “week-to-week.” (I’ve heard 4 weeks.)— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) November 23, 2016
On Paul Turner, and his role
The Eagles signed exemplary wide receiver Paul Turner to the 53-man roster on Monday. Eagles fans have been clamoring for this move for some time. Here’s how the team’s head coach sees Turner, who now wears No. 19 instead of No. 80, fitting into the Eagles’ offense:
Doug Pederson: Sees Paul Turner more as a slot receiver.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) November 23, 2016
Pederson: Part of putting Turner on roster is that other teams look at your practice squad this time of year, as injuries mount— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) November 23, 2016
If Pederson sees Turner as a slot receiver, that likely doesn’t bode well for his chances of playing on Monday night. Jordan Matthews is the team’s primary slot receiver, and if Pederson doesn’t think Turner is an outside threat, he probably isn’t going to be playing him over Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham, or Bryce Treggs, no matter how woeful a group of players that may be.
Now, Pederson said two weeks ago that Darren Sproles was the team’s lead back before running Ryan Mathews for over 100 yards, so we’ll take his offensive pontifications with a grain of salt. But for now, I wouldn’t expect a whole ton from Turner even if he’s active on Monday.