Eagles coach Doug Pederson returned to the team Wednesday, 10 days after initially informing his players he had tested positive for coronavirus.

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At the time, Pederson said he was asymptomatic. According to ESPN.com, NFL protocol holds that someone who is asymptomatic must wait 10 days or have two consecutive negative tests over a five-day span before returning.

Pederson self-quarantined at his home in Moorestown while maintaining contact with the team through Zoom meetings and calls with the coaching staff and some players.

"I stayed engaged virtually with the team and was able to watch practices every day," Pederson said Wednesday in a video conference with the media. "But I was chomping at the bit to get back."
The team maintained its schedule in Pederson's absence.

According to him, the Eagles' entire offense and defense has been installed and it is now beginning to work through different situations in preparation for the regular-season opener at Washington, which is scheduled for Sept. 13.

The NFL canceled the entire preseason last month due to concerns about Covid-19.

"We're not playing catchup," Pederson said. "We have everything we need if we were to play a game tomorrow. Actually, tomorrow (Thursday) would have been our first preseason game."

Without preseason games or intersquad practices, every team faces a major challenge.

They must both evaluate their young talent while also preparing veterans for the upcoming season.

"There are a couple of things we need to know," Pederson said. "First, we have to make sure our starters are in the right frame of mind and their bodies are conditioned. The second thing is the new additions to the team, the free agents, draft picks and undrafted guys. Those are the guys we need to have our answers on. As we get pads on next week, those are some of the answers we're going to get.

Some onfield protocols will be instituted.

For instance, Pederson indicated that coaches will be wearing face shields or masks during practices and also practicing social distancing.

"Training camp is essentially the same for us," he said. "I think we have eight or nine padded practices through the next two and a half weeks or so. There's a fine line between evalauting players and getting ready for the season. But all 32 teams are in the same boat."

Notes: Pederson was among three head coaches to test positive, joining New Orleans' Sean Payton and the Los Angeles Chargers' Anthony Lynn. Lynn informed his players during last night's debut episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks."

Two of the three Eagles who tested positive - tackle Lane Johnson and linebacker Nathan Gerry - have been cleared to return to the team. Tackle Jordan Mailata remains on the Reserve/Covid-19 list.

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