Just a day after the Eagles made several roster moves, head coach Doug Pederson talked to reporters about how that affects the team moving forward and what they hope to accomplish in these last few weeks of the regular season.
Importantly, Pederson also noted that QB Carson Wentz would not practice on Thursday due to some back soreness and tightness that he’s dealing with.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
Wentz to miss Thursday’s practice
Pederson opened by talking about all the injury updates from the past few days, but the main headline here is that quarterback Carson Wentz has a little bit of back soreness and tightness and they decided to sit him out of Thursday’s practice.
It was pointed out that this isn’t the first time Wentz has been out with back issues, but Pederson noted that he’s just a little sore and that they’re going to give him some more rest. The head coach did say that the injury was not game related coming off the Cowboys loss, but rather something he’s been dealing with.
Pederson said they’ll see where he’s at and that he’ll have more updates on all the injured guys later in the week.
He was asked point blank if there’s a chance Wentz misses Sunday’s game against the Rams, but the head coach said they are just focused on today, and they’ll see where he’s at at the end of the day.
Later, Pederson was asked about Wentz not escaping the pocket as much and doing more on the run this season, and rather than it being connected to his knee injury as many have speculated, if he was hesitant some games based on how his back was feeling. He said he doesn’t really know and that’s something to ask the QB about, but Pederson knows he’s been going into games with a lot of energy and sometimes those lanes just don’t open up.
He also said they’ve been monitoring Wentz medically since he injured his knee, and so they’ve been monitoring his back as well — while pointing out that every player at some point is playing through something.
Other injury updates and personnel moves
Before anyone could even ask about injuries, Pederson — with a big smile on his face and in a joking mood — offered up a breakdown of all the injuries.
Timmy Jernigan is doing better but is still day-to-day, and they’ll evaluate him more at practice on Thursday.
Avonte Maddox is improving, and is another one that is day-to-day. He did say that there is a chance he practices on Thursday but they’ll just have to see where he’s at when they get on the field.
Jordan Hicks is another one that’s improving but still day-to-day, and Sidney Jones was another one who got the day-to-day designation.
Later, Pederson was asked whether he felt like the team was snake-bitten by injuries — with 12 now on IR —, and he agreed that it felt that way. He pointed out that seven of the guys on IR are on defense, eight now with Josh Sweat. The head coach said he gives credit to the guys who are playing and trying to fill in those roles, and to some of the young guys who have had to step up.
“This is a resilient group and I’m proud of the guys for where they are and what they’ve accomplished so far.”
He also said that Corey Clement’s knee injury may limit him a bit heading into OTAs in April, but he doesn’t have the full longterm report from the doctors yet.
On Rams prep
Pederson has said during his tenure as head coach that returning to a site that you’ve had great success can motivate a team, and the head coach was asked if the opposite can be true for someone like Carson Wentz who was injured in Los Angeles last season.
Pederson talked about how returning to the scene of the crime, so to speak, could cause some anxiety, but overall they won that game last year as a team and rallied around Wentz during this time, so he would say there’s probably more positive than negative feelings ahead of their return.
He went on to talk about what it was like in the locker room after that win, and Pederson noted it was bitter sweet, but that they hadn’t gotten the full report on Wentz yet at that time. He said guys were excited because they had just won the NFC East and had earned a playoff spot, but as a head coach he was excited for the team but started thinking ahead to the next game and how he was going to keep the guys focused and motivated.
Pederson then spoke about Wentz’s individual performance during that game, and said he was doing some nice things and collectively, the offense was making some plays. He noted that they didn’t have Zach Ertz that game and were relying on Brent Celek and Trey Burton for their tight ends and the run game was pretty good. Pederson also remembered the defense dominating all game, and when he thinks back, he really remembers it as a good team win despite having to overcome some obstacles — which he anticipates they’ll have to do again this year.
He was asked why the team wasn’t traveling to Los Angeles earlier in the week, and Pederson noted that last year they had Seattle the week before so it made sense to stay on the west coast. But generally, they have all the resources they need in Philadelphia, plus the guys have their families and routines, and also get the added benefit of staying on east coast time to avoid affects to their internal clocks.
On John DeFilippo
Pederson said he was prepared to be asked about his former OC, and said that he did a great job for the team and helped them win a World Championship, but he loves his coaches and at this time the answer was “no” about whether he’s considered bringing him back. Pederson also said he hasn’t talked to DeFilippo since he was fired.