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Doug Pederson talks Eagles’ Week 1 prep, splitting QB reps

Both Carson Wentz and Nick Foles are participating in team drills on Sunday, plus lots of other injury updates.

Before the Eagles were back at practice on Sunday, head coach Doug Pederson spoke to the media and gave a few injury updates, including that both Carson Wentz and Nick Foles would participate in team drills — good news after Foles’ shoulder strain suffered in last Thursday’s preseason game.

On Carson Wentz

Things are still going according to plan for the young QB to get back onto the field, and a week after being taken out of team reps, returned on Sunday. Pederson noted that Wentz would still be limited, but that they’re going to get him some reps in each drill.

“Again, it’s still a slow process, but at the same time, it’s exciting for him and for us to get him back out there,” Pederson acknowledged.

The head coach also said they learned a lot about Wentz’s progress during their re-evaluation over the weekend, and specifically noted, “his arm is live, he’s moving around well from the quarterback position, and he’s excited to get out there today.”

Pederson pretty much made Foles’ shoulder strain a non-issue, saying the reigning Super Bowl MVP was good and would be back on the practice field. The head coach’s plan heading into Sunday’s practice, was for Foles and Wentz to each take 50% of the reps with the ones.

As Wentz gets ready to be full go, Pederson wouldn’t entertain the idea of letting him take some reps in the fourth preseason game, even if the quarterback was cleared for it.

On other injuries

  • Tight end Richard Rodgers is “going to be week to week with his knee”.
  • Running back Donnel Pumphrey is doing good, but on whether we’d see him back on the field this week, Pederson admitted, “Probably not a chance this week, no.”
  • WR Nelson Agholor and RB Corey Clement are both day-to-day, with Pederson saying “We’ll do more next week with both of them.”
  • Jalen Mills was getting back into individual drills on Sunday, but was still being held from 11-on-11.
  • Jason Peters and Darron Sproles probably won’t see any playing time this preseason, but Pederson said that’s pretty much the norm. He doesn’t need to see what they can do, and they just need to stay healthy and get ready to go Week 1.

“Listen, practices are as hard if not harder than games, and so we’re seeing enough in practice to know these two guys are ready to go.”

On the QB situation heading into Week 1

Pederson was asked if not knowing whether Wentz or Foles will be the starting QB of the first regular season game made it challenging to game plan. He noted that at this point, he and his staff evaluate their upcoming games and see what they might be able do based on their opponents defensive schemes, and conceptualize what they want to do offensively.

“I don’t worry about the quarterback position as much at this time, as much as just understanding the defense that we’re going to see.”

The head coach also doesn’t think that it benefits the Eagles that other teams aren’t in turn able to game plan for their QB. Pederson pointed out that their are similarities in the play style of both quarterbacks, so the opposing defenses don’t have to entirely shift their scheme based on who is taking the snaps.

Pederson also talked about Nate Sudfeld and his development throughout training camp and the first two preseason games. He noted the QB has made some big strides, and he’s really benefited from so many reps and playing time this offseason.

“You have to understand, and I have to realize too, that this is really his first time, so he’s almost like a rookie playing. So we’re still working through progressions and reads and decision making and all the things that come with young quarterbacks.”

Doug also called Sudfeld very mature and seemed happy that he’s trending upward.

On the wide receivers

COACH PEDERSON: It was good to see [WR] Mike Wallace back out there last week; keep him coming. I thought even some of the younger guys, [WR] Rashard Davis, [WR] DeAndre Carter, both had a lot of plays in this last game and I thought did a nice job. They’re still learning and understanding defense and leverage and coverage and all kinds of things.

They’re getting better each and every week, and this is a great opportunity for them right now this time of camp.

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