Eagles head coach Doug Pederson spoke to the media on Wednesday just minutes after the team announced linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill would be placed on IR. He addressed the situation, and also talked injuries overall and preparing for the Cowboys.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
Pederson said the linebacker felt some discomfort after the Washington game, and they sent him for an MRI on Monday and it revealed that he “needs to be shut down for a little while”. The head coach pointed to the team’s statement for Grugier-Hill’s plan, and it is to have surgery for a lower lumber disc herniation.
Despite Kamu only play 5 snaps on Sunday, Pederson emphasized that the injury didn’t come until after the game — that’s when the linebacker reported it. He also confirmed what DC Jim Schwartz said on Tuesday, that the limited snaps was due to Washington’s offense.
The head coach also said that he doesn’t know whether it was something Grugier-Hill has been playing with. But, he did say that the loss of Kamu is a huge deal.
Moving forward, Pederson said he sees an increased role for T.J. Edwards.
He was later asked whether there’s a chance that Grugier-Hill was being punished for not reporting a concussion, wasn’t happy with the reduction of snaps, and decided to report an injury he’d been playing through for awhile. Pederson said that was speculation and he wouldn’t answer the question
On injuries this season
Pederson was asked about the number of injuries the team has sustained, and whether he saw it as an issue or something that just happens when playing a violent sport. The head coach said that they past few years they’ve played into the postseason and that kind of extended season adds some wear and tear to the players. But, for the most part, these things happen, that’s just the nature of the game with contact and collisions.
The head coach later said that Derek Barnett is “getting close” to returning, Lane Johnson is “getting better” and is a day-to-day, and there’s no update on Nelson Agholor and Jordan Howard since they are “status quo.”
On Carson Wentz
“Smarter about protecting himself, whether it be throwing it away or sliding, whatever it might be. I just think it just comes through experience, it comes through playing. He understand what he’s gone through, what his body has gone through the last couple years, and probably doesn’t want to go through that again. So, he’s learned from it, and been better for it this season.”
On preparing for the Cowboys
He talked about how regardless of who they had on the schedule for this week, in their current situation, it’s a must-win, but the fact that it’s against the Cowboys gives it extra meaning.
“Any time you play your division, these are great games. Our last two have been great games, tough games, hard fought games, and this is no different. This will be one of those games.”
Pederson switched up the practice schedule this week, and said he didn’t have the team on Tuesday but that it’s mostly a gym day. He explained after three games in a row with a lot of offensive snaps, and where they are in the season, guys are hurting and need a little extra rest and extra treatment. The team also won’t be practicing in pads this week.
Following the first loss to Dallas this season, Pederson called it one of the worst losses of his head coaching career, and on Wednesday he was asked what he’s learned since then.
“I think the one of biggest things, we have to protect the football. We didn’t do that as an offense, and when you’re down 14-0 to a good football team, its hard to overcome, and it kind of gets you out of your rhythm and what you’re trying to do as your game plan unfolds.
You just gotta continue to work. This week’s important from just our detail, our preparation. We can’t focus on Sunday, we gotta just focus on Wednesday, and get ready today to have a good practice. You know, learn from it. Watch the tape, learn from it, make the corrections. But, any game, turnovers, penalties are gonna cost you.”