QB Decision is Near as Doug Pederson Shifts to Competitive-Advantage Mode
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - If there was any doubt that Doug Pederson is in competitive-advantage mode for the season-opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 6, that evaporated on Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex.
The Eagles coach finally admitted there is both a public and private deadline set for naming his starting quarterback against the Falcons.
In all reality, Pederson already knows who will have the controls but is trying to keep Dan Quinn guessing as long as possible.
The rehabbing Carson Wentz is technically not been cleared for contact ahead of the game but has been ramping up his work in team drills, according to All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson.
All Pederson would admit to is that Wentz and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles have split reps evenly for the past two weeks and joked about his public timetable.
"Ninety minutes before kickoff," a smiling Pederson said before practice.
Pederson stressed he will know who's starting by Friday of this week when game-planning begins in earnest for the Falcons.
"This is still preseason and we're giving all of our quarterbacks reps at this time," Pederson said. "Obviously when you get into the regular season and you start game-planning you want whoever that gentleman is going to be to get that full complement of reps."
Assuming Wentz can prove anything more to doctors in the two days before the decision is locked in is folly.
If you're adept at reading the tea leaves here understand the only thing that could happen from a medical standpoint over a two-day time frame is a setback so the increased work over the past two weeks for Wentz certainly seems like all signs are pointing toward the third-year star being ready.
TUESDAY NEWS AND NOTES:
-Coming off offseason shoulder surgery Alshon Jeffery remains on the PUP list with just three practices left until the Falcons game, making it very unlikely the veteran receiver is a go for Week 1.
"He's doing well in this rehab. He's working every day, " Pederson said. "He's progressed up to about 75 throws a day and really doing a nice job with that. We're just going to continue to monitor him and we'll see where he is at next week and make a decision. But right now, he's progressing well; we just got to see his day by day."
-With both Richard Rodgers and Joshua Perkins dealing with injuries, the Eagles brought back tight end Anthony Denham for Thursday's game even-more-meaningless-than-usual postseason finale against the Jets.
-The Eagles re-worked the injured Chris Maragos' contract, eliminating the 2019 season, meaning the veteran special-teams star will now be a free agent next March. Maragos remains on the PUP list and is having difficulty returning from PCL surgery on his knee.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen