Pederson Announces Lengthy Inactive List for Preseason Opener
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Eagles first-year head coach Doug Pederson is shelving 10 players for the team's preseason opener against Tampa Bay on Thursday, including starters Jordan Matthews, Jason Peters, Malcolm Jenkins and Mychal Kendricks.
Matthews, who will be replaced by Chris Givens at wide receiver, is dealing with a knee injury suffered on a low hit by rookie cornerback Jalen Mills during a live period last Friday and is not expected to be back in the lineup until the third preseason game at the earliest.
Peters (quad) and Jenkins (hamstring) have been out of practice for days and their absences are hardly a surprise, while Kendricks left Monday's session early after feeling some soreness in his hamstring. Peters, though, is getting closer at least because he is expected to dress for the game.
Matt Tobin will start at left tackle in place of Peters, while Jaylen Watkins and Chris Maragos will rotate in at safety for Jenkins, and veteran Najee Goode will step in for Kendricks at WILL linebacker.
"Matt Tobin will take (Peters') place," Pederson said. "Nelson [Agholor] is going to be at the Z spot and Chris Givens will take over at the X spot. You've got Rodney McLeod and then you've got Chris Maragos and Jaylen Watkins on a rotating basis. Najee will be starting in place of Kendricks."
The main storylines, however, remain the two high-profile debuts, those of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, the second overall pick, and Pederson himself.
"He's very comfortable with where he's at," Pederson said of Wentz. "He's getting better every day. I've seen a lot of young quarterbacks that come in and struggle mentally with the terminology and the overall volume of offense at this time. I haven't seen that from him at all. Very pleased with where he's at mentally and now it's just a matter of continuing to detail his work and fine-tune the mechanics."
And how about the coach himself?
"I'm excited," Pederson said. "I really looking forward to getting over there and the first one in the Linc and having the fans there and the opportunity to play against another opponent. You want to come away with no injuries, but at the same time, we're going to stay aggressive."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen