Doug Pederson spoke Wednesday morning, the day before the Eagles’ Thursday night showdown with the Giants. Here’s what he touched on:
Doug Pederson says Allen Barbre questionable, expects him at LG. Jordan Matthews, Isaac Seumalo, Big V are questionable. Sproles will play.— Adam Hermann (@adamwhermann) December 21, 2016
Pederson sounded confident that Barbre and Matthews would both play in their normal roles. Seumalo and Vaitai, obviously, are relegated to backup roles with the original offensive line makeup intact.
Pederson said Sproles will return to his normal backfield duties, which could limit Byron Marshall’s touches on the ground.
On the return of Lane Johnson, and how he’s looked
Good to have Lane back?
“It’s a blessing this late in the season to have all five guys back to their original spots. It’s something that we, when we lost Lane after the fourth game, you kind of marked this date on the calendar. We were hoping to be in a little better situation at the time, but it is what it is. We’re here now. We’re fortunate to have all five guys back.”
How has he looked this week?
“He’s looked good. He’s got a lot of energy, obviously. We always kid the guys that miss time with fresh legs, he’s energetic, he’s eager, and he’s ready to go. Had a good week of practice, mentally into it, and he’s excited.”
Can he last a whole game, you think?
“We feel, and I feel, he’ll be fine. His stamina will be there. I’m sure there will be a little fatigue. He hasn’t played in 10 weeks, and there might be a little fatigue early, but I think he’ll be fine.”
Hard for him to come back on a short week?
“It can be hard. It’s hard on everybody. But for him, it’s better to just get back out on the field instead of having that long week of practice. I think there is something to a longer week, a normal week, where you can kind of condition yourself, get ready for Sunday game. But again, we’re just glad to get him back.”
On Pro Bowl tackle Jason Peters
What do you think of the season Peters has had? Can he keep going?
“Congratulations to both Fletcher and Jason for making the Pro Bowl off our team, but getting back to Jason, I think he’s very capable of another couple seasons. He’s really done a great job with the health standpoint, his weight, managing all that. I think Stout’s done a good job in practice or monitoring him, not taking the full compliment of reps throughout the week. He’s one of those guys, I can go back to those conversations we had back in the spring, about how do you manage Jason Peters, and I feel like we’ve done that extremely well this season. He feels fresh, he feels healthy. Again, a Pro Bowl season, so I’m excited for him, and I really do look forward to working with him in the future.”
Have you talked about the future with him?
“Not at this point, no. We’ve still got the two games, and we’ll address it in the offseason.”
Does he want to return?
“Oh, yeah, for sure. And I love him. I want him on the team. I don’t want him to go anywhere. I want him to be an Eagle for the rest of his career. So we get through these next two games, we’ll have to address that in the offseason.”
On the strength of the NFC East
“I think the division speaks for itself. It’s one of the toughest in the National Football League. And it’s been one of those divisions where any team at the beginning of the year obviously has high hopes and expectations of winning the division. We were obviously one of those teams.
“Nobody wants to not win a game in their division, so we’re trying our best on Thursday night to eliminate that. It’s just a, to me, you look at all the teams. The teams ahead of us, outside of Dallas, are still fighting for those spots and stay alive, and I think it speaks volumes for our division that you can have two, sometimes three, teams that are looking to the postseason. It just shows us the strength of our division. We hope in the near future to be the team in the NFC East that’s consecutively and consistently playing for the postseason.”