Eagles

Wisniewski improving but will he play Monday?

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Wisniewski improving but will he play Monday?

Updated 1:45 p.m.

Left guard Stefen Wisniewski's status for Monday night's game is up in the air. 

While Wiz has practiced in a limited fashion this week, he's questionable for the game thanks to an ankle injury that kept him out of last week's game. 

Wisniewski left the Rams game early and then missed the Giants game with a right ankle injury. This week, he has been seen with the ankle taped and with a heavier black brace on the ankle. 

"Wiz continues to get better," Pederson said. "He's practiced, obviously, in a little bit of a limited fashion. But again, he's another one that's coming along and we'll see where he's at today."

In his place last week, Chance Warmack played well. And it seems likely that the team would err on the side of caution with Wisniewski. They'd prefer to have him completely healthy for the playoffs. So if he's iffy for Monday, expect him to be inactive. 

Meanwhile, Jalen Mills (ankle) and Derek Barnett (groin), who missed practice Friday, appear likely to be ready to play Monday, even though Mills is also listed as questionable. Pederson said the day of rest was good for both of them. Mills and Barnett both practiced Saturday. 

Mychal Kendricks (foot) is also questionable but was a full participant in Saturday's practice. 

This week, even with an extra day, Pederson lightened the load for his players. He eliminated a practice and replaced it with a walkthrough. He wanted to give his team a rest and give his injured players time to heal after a three-game road trip. 

The Eagles could have the No. 1 seed wrapped up by the time they play Monday if the Vikings lose to the Packers Saturday night, but Pederson claimed the plan won't change. They have prepared all week for their starters to play. 

"Win the game," Pederson said when asked what the plan was. "To play our best players and win. I think it's important that they continue to play. If we're in that position, if we're fortunate enough to be in that position to rest, I'll make a decision at that time. But I think it's important in these next couple of games to continue to play."

Pederson wouldn't comment on how he'd handle the Cowboys game if that game ends up being meaningless.  

Carson Wentz, who had surgery to repair his torn ACL, is expected to be at Monday's game, according to Pederson. But because Wentz is still on crutches, he won't be on the sideline. 

Thanks to playing at 8:30 on Monday, Pederson was able to push the team's schedule back a little bit so his players and coaches can spend Christmas morning with their families. 

"Listen, you don't get these times back," he said. "It's too important to me and my family. I want to make sure that these players with young kids, coaches with young kids get to spend Christmas morning together."

Doug Pederson's preseason comparison doesn't look so ridiculous now

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Doug Pederson's preseason comparison doesn't look so ridiculous now

When Doug Pederson said back in July that the 2017 Eagles "probably have more talent" than the Super Bowl Packers teams of the 1990s that Pederson played on, more than a few eyebrows were raised.

Millions of eyebrows maybe.
 
The Eagles? Who hadn't won a playoff game since 2008 and were coming off a 7-9 record in Pederson's first season?
 
More talented than a team that went to the playoffs virtually every year from the early 1990s through the mid-2000s behind Hall of Famers Brett Favre and Reggie White and reached back-to-back Super Bowls in 1996 and 1997, winning one?
 
"I look back on my time in Green Bay as a player when we were making those playoff runs, those Super Bowl runs there," Pederson said on July 17.
 
"And do we have as much talent on this team than we did then? We probably have more talent, right?"
 
Seriously, Doug?
 
Six months later, Pederson's comments — which seemed so ridiculous at the time — don't seem so ridiculous, do they?
 
Because here are those 2017 Eagles, sitting 13-3 with a playoff win over the Falcons in the books and a berth Sunday in the NFC Championship Game against the Vikings despite a rash of injuries to some of their best players.
 
The Eagles haven't lost a game with postseason implications since Carson Wentz was lost for the season, and they're one home win from reaching their third Super Bowl.
 
Pederson, who had two stints backing up Brett Favre with the Packers — from 1996 through 1998 and 2001 through 2004 — was reminded of his comments Friday before practice.
 
"I don't have a crystal ball, obviously, and it's hard to predict," he said. "You'd love to sit here and go, 'Yeah, in the summer, (I thought we were) going to be 13-3 and win the NFC East.' You'd love to be in that situation, or 16-0, or whatever it might be.
 
"I did have a feeling back then when I made that statement that we could be, we had the potential to be a good football team because of the way we've practiced and the talent that we brought to the roster and the progression of Carson in his second year.
 
"And then defensively, the front, the way they performed, and the back end, I saw a lot of the same similarities. So you just have that gut feeling when I made that statement."
 
Back in July, when Pederson made those comments comparing the Eagles to the Packers, he tempered them by saying talent isn't always enough. It takes much more for a team to have success.
 
"I (said) it takes great coaching, teaching, mentoring to also have our guys prepared each week to be in this position," Pederson said. "So all of that has kind of culminated. I think you look back on it and you go, 'Wow, maybe it was a true type of thing.'
 
"But we just keep doing our jobs, keep doing what we've been coached to do. Players play what they can do and what's in their control, and we're here today."

Only 1 Eagle questionable for Sunday

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Only 1 Eagle questionable for Sunday

Veteran linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) is the only Eagles player listed as questionable for this week's game. Everyone else on the 53-man roster is expected to be available. 

Ellerbe, 32, missed practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday and Friday. 

The Eagles' starting MIKE linebacker was also listed as questionable last week and was able to play, so expect him to be good to go. After all, this is the NFC Championship Game. There's no resting for anything else. 

In Minnesota, wide receiver Adam Thielen (lower back) and safety Andrew Sendejo (concussion) are both listed as questionable. 

Thielen, the Vikings' top receiver, missed Wednesday's practice and was limited on Thursday and Friday. Just like Ellerbe, there's no saving him for next week. 

Sendejo was limited on Wednesday and Thursday, was a full participant on Friday, but is still technically in the NFL's concussion protocol. He'll need to clear that before he's able to play, but Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said he's optimistic Sendejo will be able to play. 

Meanwhile, third defensive tackle, Shamar Stephen (knee/ankle), missed practice all week and has been ruled out. While Stephen isn't a starter, he played just under 40 percent of the Vikings' snaps this season, so missing him is still a loss.

After practicing indoors on Wednesday and Thursday, the Eagles loaded up on buses and spent their Friday practice outside at Lincoln Financial Field. Head coach Doug Pederson likes to get his guys outside for at least one day per week. 

The Eagles will have a walkthrough on Saturday before they'll be back at the Linc for Sunday's 6:40 p.m. kickoff in the NFC Championship Game.