The Eagles are finally getting several injured players back in the lineup, and head coach Doug Pederson spoke on Friday before practice about who they are anticipating might be ready to return on Sunday. Pederson also talked about how the virtual meetings this week have been productive, and why Philly traffic has been the biggest issue.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
- Pederson said that they have a plan for Alshon Jeffery, but they still have to get through Friday’s practice and make sure the wide receiver will be able to play on Sunday. He didn’t want to give away anything about how they’d use him, but he’s a veteran player and has been one of their starters, so if he’s ready to go they have a plan to get him in the game.
- Lane Johnson has been limited in practice this week, and Pederson explained that they just limited his practice reps — but he practiced each day, either in an individual capacity or off to the side Jeff Stoutland. Johnson is doing well, and is in a similar situation as Jeffery. They have to see where he’s at during and after practice on Friday, but Pederson is optimistic Johnson will be able to return on Sunday.
- Pederson was asked about Isaac Seumalo — who was another limited participant in practice this week — and whether getting him and other players back creates issues within the roster, or if they have to get back in the swing of things. The head coach point to the 21-day activation window with IR guys, which allows them to knock the rust off and get them incorporated back into practice. Seumalo is another guy they have to evaluate on Friday to see if he’s both physically and mentally prepared to return on Sunday.
- In terms of Miles Sanders returning and whether late-game fatigue might be a problem for the running back again — it was something he struggled with in his first couple games this season —, Pederson noted that he leans on the medical staff and trainers. Sanders’ return from injury this time is a little different because he already had some games that he was able to go full speed for four quarters. They do, however, have to monitor him and make sure they don’t see signs of fatigue, but they haven’t seen anything concerning this week in practice.
- The head coach said that it was important to check on young players like Jalen Reagor, and not just physically, but with how they’re handling things — especially injuries — mentally. Also, during this pandemic, some of the young guys are living alone and it can be lonely at times, so it is important that they check in with them. And, from the football side of things, he wants to make sure that Reagor is still focused. Pederson lauded WR coach Aaron Moorehead for doing a good job with the young receivers.
Pederson was asked about his messaging to Jalen Hurts about his role as a backup QB, and the head coach noted it was similar to what he was told as a player. Hurts just has to be himself, continue to prepare and develop, and will need to be ready if he’s ever called on — the same thing he told Nick Foles and Chase Daniel, before.
“Block out the noise and focus on being you.”
He was also asked about whether, with Josh McCown now with the Texans, they had considered sequestering Nate Sudfeld, but Pederson was quick to answer, “No”.
On a similar note, Pederson said that having to be in the intensive COVID-19 protocol hasn’t been a challenge. He said they’ve had a great week, great meetings, and the virtual aspect has been good and productive. The biggest issue has been the Philly traffic — something Pederson emphasized was not a joke, with guys coming from New Jersey and downtown and other parts of the PA.
“My concern, really, are the guys traveling to NovaCare for practice.”