Eagles head coach Doug Pederson spoke to reporters on Wednesday morning and gave several injury updates, talked about the urgency to win with the NFC East still up for grabs, and what they expect from the Giants defense.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
Players expected to return this week:
Pederson said that DeSean Jackson is close to returning and he’s had a really good week of practice — same for Lane Johnson. He anticipates both being available on Thursday. The head coach also said that he feels comfortable that Johnson would be able to last four quarters if he’s ready to return.
With Johnson back, Pederson was asked what the offensive line would look like, and he specifically didn’t want to talk about the right guard position and who would start, and wanted to keep that personnel decision close to the vest. Could be a sign that Jamon Brown will be demoted.
Avonte Maddox is another guy that missed a couple of games that they anticipate being able to return on Thursday, and Pederson also mentioned Duke Riley returning, as well.
Players not expected to return this week:
With a short week, and limited number of reps, Pederson said that Alshon Jeffery is not expected to play this week.
Pederson didn’t want to put a timetable on either Dallas Goedert or Jalen Reagor, but said they’re both doing well and are on schedule.
He also didn’t want to get into a lengthy discussion about Miles Sanders, Zach Ertz or Malik Jackson, but all three will miss this week. They have some time after Thursday’s game to get some rest and evaluate where they’re at before Sunday night in Week 8. Pederson said that they aren’t IR candidates at this time, but he and Howie Roseman will take a look at that.
On competing for the NFC East
“Every week is heightened. The sense of urgency each week to win a football game. We understand where we are, sort of the hole we’ve dug ourselves into.”
Pederson said that they want to focus on one game at a time, and they can’t overlook the Giants. They have a one game at a time mentality. He also noted that they know the division is down and maybe up for grabs, but on a short week, they are just focusing on Thursday’s game.
On the Giants defense
Pederson noted that there are some similarities to what Miami has done, and how New England has played the Eagles in the past.
“This defensive line, again, is a challenge for our offensive line. They’re big and physical inside, and they can, again, they can put pressure on the quarterback, and they can shut the run game down. And, it’s probably a little more zone coverage in the backend than man coverage, but there are a lot of disguises back there with their linebackers and safeties, and so it’s complex, or complexities I should say, within this defense especially on a short week. But having some familiarity with them, and Coach Graham last year in Miami does help, we can take a look at some of that. Really good defense that we’re going against this week.”
- He wouldn’t talk about personnel decisions and whether they are focusing on getting young players reps or instead, planning to use veterans who may not be in the team’s plan beyond this season.
- Pederson said it was great to see the fans in the stands, supporting the guys — and they felt right at home with some of the boos, which he admitted were often deserved. Being in these uncertain, pandemic times, it was nice to slowly, but surely, gets fans back in seats.
- The head coach was asked about his success with Thursday night games, and he pointed to it really being about the players and how seriously they take their health and recovery after a physical game the Sunday before.