The Philadelphia Eagles released their final injury report ahead of Sunday’s game. The team will be without starting linebacker T.J. Edwards as he continues to battle a nagging hamstring issue. Jason Peters is also out after electing for season-ending surgery.
Head coach Doug Pederson delivered the news about Peters during his media availability on Friday, adding that he had no “conversations” in regard to the eventual Hall of Famer’s future. There is an increasing belief he may decide to retire. In addition to Peters and Edwards, the Eagles ruled out two other players including backup cornerback Michael Jacquet (hamstring) and reserve safety Rudy Ford (hamstring).
All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (neck) missed practice but he’s considered good to go in Week 14. Philadelphia also listed three players as “limited” participants in Friday’s practice: S Grayland Arnold (hamstring), DE Derek Barnett (pelvis), CB Darius Slay (knee). All three guys will be game-time decisions.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) December 11, 2020
Meanwhile, veteran receiver Alshon Jeffery (calf) was a full participant for a second straight day. It’s unclear what his role might be against the New Orleans Saints as Pederson reiterated getting more snaps for his younger guys. The head coach specifically mentioned that second-year receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside had been mentoring rookie Quez Watkins.
“With J.J now coming back and getting in the mix; he’s been working a lot with him,” Pederson said. “We’ve got another day of practice, red zone today [Friday], and we’ll make that final determination going into the game.”
The #Eagles cap hit for Alshon Jeffery this season is $15.3 million.
He caught 0 passes in three of four games this season.
Next year, his cap hit is $18.4 million for the team. pic.twitter.com/j7OTNfGQWb
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 7, 2020
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Carson Wentz Serving as Backup QB
There had been a tiny bit of debate over whether Carson Wentz would be the backup quarterback on Sunday behind new starter Jalen Hurts. Some had envisioned a scenario where maybe the benched face of the franchise took a step back and remained inactive. That won’t be the case, according to Pederson.
“He’s handled it like a pro,” Pederson said. “He’s gone out to practice, you see him, he’s taking reps obviously with the service team and providing a really good look for our defense and has done a great job in helping Jalen. He’s been involved in the meetings and just what I expected.”
What a difference a week makes.
I’m told Carson Wentz has done a good job in practice this week playing the role of Taysom Hill for the Eagles defense and giving them good looks
Carson is doing his job this week as the backup QB and being a great teammate pic.twitter.com/PmkzHM88ow
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) December 11, 2020
Pederson praised Hurts’ instant chemistry with the first-team offense, calling out his natural leadership and ability to process information so quickly.
“Jalen is a natural leader,” Pederson said. “We saw that obviously talking to his college coaches, whether it was Alabama or Oklahoma. Just a natural leader, and now that he’s in this position, you can see he’s coming out and really talking to his guys.”
No Changes to Top Play-Calling Duties
The Eagles made a point to get passing-game coordinator Press Taylor and senior offensive consultant Rich Scangarello more involved in the play-calling duties, including reportedly allowing Taylor to call the second half against the Seattle Seahawks.
But Pederson has remained the lead play-caller through it all, a role he doesn’t anticipate relinquishing anytime soon. He will call the shots once again this week and start to build up those channels of communication with Hurts.
“My job is to get him the play in a timely manner,” Pederson said. “He’s got to be able to communicate, get it out of the huddle, get the snap, all of that, and then we need to score points.”