The Eagles are on “the road” against Washington on Sunday and head coach Doug Pederson gave some updates Friday on injured players, his thoughts on Kamu Grugier-Hill playing through a concussion. and what he’s seen in some of the young offensive players who have had to step up.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
Pederson confirmed Alshon Jeffery’s injury is the Lisfranc and that he will need surgery. He would expect Jeffery to get the surgery done as soon as possible to get on the rehab schedule, but Pederson said that knowing whether or not Jeffery would play next year is a long way off.
He noted that Nelson Agholor will work through Friday’s practice and see where’s at. Pederson wasn’t sure what Agholor meant about his knee being in a stalemate, but they’re still working through it.
Similarly, there is no change in Jordan Howard’s status. Pederson was asked how they handle the roster spot with guys like Howard and Agholor if they were to make a playoff run. He said that he hopes they return, and soon, and that would be his preference rather than bringing in someone new.
On Kamu Grugier-Hill’s concussion
The linebacker acknowledged that he wasn’t up front about the fact that he had a concussion and played through it. Pederson wanted to emphasize that they take player safety very seriously, and going all the way back to training camp have tried to stress the importance of head and neck injuries with the players.
“Just so I’m clear with you guys and I’m obviously clear with the team, this goes back to training camp when we sit in here as a team and have a medical meeting and we actually disclose to our players, we stress how important it is for our players to, one, either self-police themselves and/or a teammate, kind of say something to a medical team member of this importance.
We know how important head and neck injuries are to our league and to just the person, the player himself and the well-being of the player.
So from that standpoint, to have this come back like this and for him to admit what he has said and done, it’s very disappointing for me as a head coach, after putting our players through meetings and instructing our players.
It’s not a reflection on the team or anything like that. It’s just one guy who made a bad decision, bad choice. I look at it and I take football aside. I say, ‘Hey, this is a well-being issue.’ Had he maybe got hit again in that game, who knows what could have happened.
I’ll reiterate to our team again obviously the importance of reporting injuries, regardless of what type of injury it is. But I just want him and the guys to understand that I’m disappointed in this decision.”
Pederson said that what happened, happened and he going to evaluate some things and talk about it with Howie Roseman. As a former player, the head coach said he understands where Kamu was coming from, but the game has changed a lot since he played and there are too many protocols in place to make that decision.
“In a sense, it’s a little bit of a selfish act to take it upon yourself and make that decision when he could have gotten checked out right away and probably would have cleared to go back in the game at that point.
Yeah, I’m disappointed.”
On young players stepping up
Pederson said that they plan for losing players to injuries, but he looks at the offense as 9 bodies, with tight ends, runners and receivers, so they have everything covered even if they don’t have more guys at WR.
The head coach said that he’s excited about the guys getting an opportunity, such as rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, and Boston Scott. Pederson also talked about WR Robert Davis who was promoted from the practice squad, and how similarly to Greg Ward, he’s been working in the offense before being activated.
“What I’ve seen is I’ve seen a bigger, physical guy, a really good route runner. He’s smart. He’s played in games. He’s a guy that just understands his role, what we’re asking him to do, and the positions we’re putting him in.
We have to be smart with that, with having three young players in there, but at the same time, we’re not going to hold back and handcuff any of them.”
He later explained that last week Arcega-Whiteside played more of the Z, the flanker spot, and that’s where they’ll keep him on Sunday. Pederson said that Davis can play the X, Ward can play the X and inside, and JJAW can really move around if needed.
“We’re excited for our young players who have been coached along the way, who we know they’ve been coached the right way, they’re focused on their fundamentals, the details of their job. Then to see them perform in game – and a lot of times with these young players, they just need the opportunity. They’re behind an Alshon, behind a DeSean, a Nelly, whatever it might be. They’re behind a Jordan Howard, and when that player is not there, this is their opportunity.
They’re hungry, they want to make the most of that opportunity. Again, they’re professionals about their business and their craft, and they want to do well.”