Eagles TC Day 12: Eagles Turn Cautious, Wentz Workload Ramped Up
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — It's becoming increasingly evident that the Eagles are not going to give their starters any extended time in a preseason atmosphere so the intensity of practice was picked up a bit on Saturday with a padded session that reached past two hours.
"This is the thing, a game rep, yeah okay, but if you watched practice today, this is a game," coach Doug Pederson said after the practice ended. "We're not tackling to the ground, but from a contact standpoint, from reading the hole, from burst, acceleration, these are game-like practices."
It was the first session without backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who suffered a break in his left wrist in the preseason opener against Tennessee on Thursday and underwent surgery on Friday, with the rehab schedule set around six weeks, according to NFL sources.
Without Sudfeld available Carson Wentz's workload was the largest of the summer and Cody Kessler received the extended time, working a bit of a rapport with rookie receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, chemistry the two developed while working out together in California. Rookie QB Clayton Thorson seemed to be scaled back a bit after struggling mightily against the Titans.
The off-the-field stuff was probably the bigger story, however, as the Eagles unveiled a long list of new injuries, including right tackle Lane Johnson (knee) and tight end Dallas Goedert (calf) being week-to-week moving forward. The goal for both is Week 1 of the regular season, however.
Other listed as week-to-week include safety Blake Countess (hamstring) and wide receiver Shelton Gibson (ankle). Defensive end Daeshon Hall, who excelled against the Titans, and receiver DeAndre Thompkins are both day to day with shoulder injuries, while defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway is in concussion protocol.
Zach Ertz also put a scare into the fans in attendance when he ran into the medical tent with what looked like a left leg injury. The Pro Bowl tight end returned to practice, however, and seemed OK in the locker room after.
There were some positive steps from an injury standpoint as well with defensive end Derek Barnett getting into some team drills for the first time of training camp and cornerback Ronald Darby working up to 7-on-7s for the first time. Receiver Mack Hollins was a full go as well after working through his latest injury, a hip problem.
Wentz didn't play against the Titans so he got extra work here and was at least a little shaky with his accuracy, throwing two interceptions, including a quick screen attempt that Nate Gerry sniffed out with the Eagles' offense backed up against their own end zone. The other came in 7-on-7 work with Malcolm Jenkins being the culprit.
The good stuff was Wentz walking into the end zone during red-sone work on a zone-read keeper and a speed-out to DeSean Jackson that was ruled a TD. Pederson also broke out the flea-flicker but it resulted in a check-down to Alshon Jeffery.
Kessler picked up his game a bit and had the best throw I've seen from him in camp, a rope to Arcega-Whiteside on an out pattern with J.J. tapping the toes.
“There’s really not much to be said about the quarterback position," Pederson said. "We’re comfortable with what we have."
NEWS AND NOTES:
-Joe Ostman was in the locker room and confirmed his ACL surgery will be Tuesday down in Pensacola with Dr. James Andrews. They needed to wait for the swelling to go down. Ostman said he knew right away his ACL was torn.
-With the numbers bown at DE, rookie Shareef Miller flipped to the right side in goal-line work and came up with a batted ball at the line of scrimmage.
-In two-minute work, Jim Schwartz used a lot of big nickel with the first-team defense with Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod and Andrew Sendejo all on the field.
-Greg Ward has had a good camp but fumbled after a reception in two-minute drills with veteran Orlando Scandrick making the play.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen