Dave Zangaro

Eagles make move that seems to indicate a Jalen Mills return

Eagles make move that seems to indicate a Jalen Mills return

The Eagles on Monday afternoon made a move that seems to be a good sign Jalen Mills will return this week. 

A few hours after Doug Pederson said he expects Mills to practice this week, the Eagles waived cornerback Ryan Lewis, possibly to create a roster spot for Mills. 

Mills, 25, is still on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a foot injury that has kept him out nearly a year, but should practice this week and could be ready to assume a role on defense this Sunday night in Dallas. 

“We’re going to incorporate Jalen Mills a little bit this week in practice, we’ll see where he’s at at the end of the week and if he’s capable maybe there’s an opportunity there (for him to play),” Pederson said.

If Mills returns to practice this week, the Eagles will have three weeks to either add him to the active roster or place him on Injured Reserve. It looks like he’s clearly coming back to the Eagles’ roster and it seems like it will happen sooner rather than later. 

But even if Mills plays this Sunday, don’t expect him to have a huge role. He hasn’t played in a game since Oct. 28 last year in London. The Eagles will need to bring him back slowly. 

In addition to Mills, Ronald Darby (hamstring) is also expected to practice this week. While Mills and Darby aren’t saviors, they should at least help a secondary that was completely gashed by Kirk Cousins in Minnesota this past weekend. 

Lewis, 25, was signed to the Eagles’ practice squad on Oct. 1 and was called up on Oct. 4. He played 43 special teams snaps during his two weeks on the Eagles’ active roster. The Eagles’ practice squad is full at 10, but if Lewis clears waivers, he’s a candidate to return in that capacity.

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Doug Pederson: We're going to beat Dallas next weekend

Doug Pederson: We're going to beat Dallas next weekend

Updated: 12:40 p.m.

The morning, after one of the worst losses during his four years as head coach of the Eagles, Doug Pederson is talking very confidently about his football team. 

Pederson said, point-blank, that the Eagles are going to go down to Dallas next weekend and beat the Cowboys to take over first place in the division. 

Take a look at his comments on 94WIP this morning: 

Anytime Dallas loses, it helps. Because here’s the thing. I know the sky is falling outside. It’s falling, and I get that. And the fans are reeling just a little bit. But we’re going down to Dallas and our guys are going to be ready to play and we’re going to win that football game. And when we do, we’re in first place in the NFC East, we control our own destiny, we’re right where we need to be. 

“Has it been perfect or beautiful or all of that? No, but all we gotta do is be 1-0 this week, beat the Dallas Cowboys, we’re in first place. And, listen, they’re reeling too. I mean, they’re struggling too. They dropped their last three games, so this will be an exciting football game.

While it sounded like Pederson was guaranteeing a victory, at his noon press conference, he said he wasn’t. 

“I never said that. Never said guarantee a win,” Pederson said. “I would never do that.”

Pederson said he spoke so strongly this morning because saying something like, “We’re going to try to win a game,” wouldn’t have shown enough confidence. 

After a 3-0 start, the Cowboys have dropped their last three games, including a game to the Jets yesterday, but for Pederson to come out and call a win less than 24 hours after a beating at the hands of the Vikings is … interesting. 

When asked why he’s so confident in his team a day after an 18-point loss, Pederson said when he watched the tape this morning, there were plenty of correctable mistakes. 

“As the head football coach, I’m going to stand here and show confidence in my football team because that’s what I have,” Pederson said. “I have confidence in my football team, the guys that are on the football field. It’s our job as coaches to prepare them, get them ready to play.” 

The Eagles and Cowboys are both 3-3, so Sunday Night Football next week will give us the leader of the division. The Cowboys beat the Eagles in both matchups between the two teams last year and took the NFC East crown. After Sunday’s matchup, the Eagles and Cowboys won’t play again until Week 16.  

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Eagles just aren’t getting enough production from Mack Hollins

Eagles just aren’t getting enough production from Mack Hollins

MINNEAPOLIS — The Eagles simply aren’t getting enough from Mack Hollins. 

In Sunday’s 38-20 loss to the Vikings, Hollins played 39 snaps and didn’t have a catch on two targets. He should have probably caught a touchdown pass on the play before the Eagles tried that fake field goal in the second quarter. 

In the last three games, Hollins has one catch for 13 yards on five targets. He’s played 109 snaps in those games! The Eagles might like Hollins as a special teamer and as a blocker, but they need at least a little bit of offensive production from him. He’s been playing a lot. 

Against Atlanta and Detroit, Hollins actually made some plays. He had nine catches for 112 yards in those two games, but since then … almost nothing. 

And because of his expanded snaps on offense, Hollins didn’t even play on special teams Sunday. So now the Eagles are theoretically weaker on special teams, where Hollins supposedly thrives. 

Hollins, a former fourth-round pick, is basically DeSean Jackson’s replacement right now. So the Eagles have gone from one of the most explosive playmakers in the NFL to a guy who occasionally throws a nice block or uses his big body to get in the way on a pick. 

Nelson Agholor didn’t have a great game on Sunday, but at least he had four catches for 42 yards. 

If you’re wondering about rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, he played just five snaps. Arcega-Whiteside is Alshon Jeffery’s backup, which is why he’s not playing. But you’d think with the struggles offensively, the Eagles would want to find a way to get him on the field. Maybe he’s just not ready, but that’s another problem. 

Other offensive notes

• Eagles rookie Andre Dillard played a career-high 47 offensive snaps. He came into the game with just 16 total under his belt. He played so much because Jason Peters played 18 snaps before leaving with a knee injury. Peters has played every snap in just two of six games this season. 

• Jordan Howard (41 snaps) led the Eagles’ running back rotation by a good margin. Miles Sanders had 19 snaps and Boston Scott had four. Scott got playing time late in the game, but now has more snaps and carries than Corey Clement, who is on IR. Sanders made the most of his plays by being a threat in the receiving game (3 catches, 86 yards, 1 touchdown). 

• Backup QB Josh McCown played the last four snaps of the game. He’s played in back-to-back games for very different reasons. 

Offense 

Isaac Seumalo: 65 snaps (100%) 
Lane Johnson: 65 (100%) 
Brandon Brooks: 65 (100%) 
Jason Kelce: 65 (100%) 
Alshon Jeffery: 62 (95%) 
Carson Wentz: 61 (94%) 
Nelson Agholor: 56 (86%) 
Zach Ertz: 52 (80%) 
Andre Dillard: 47 (72%) 
Dallas Goedert: 46 (71%) 
Jordan Howard: 41 (63%) 
Mack Hollins: 39 (60%) 
Miles Sanders: 19 (29%) 
Jason Peters: 18 (28%) 
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside: 5 (8%)  
Boston Scott: 4 (6%) 
Josh McCown: 4 (6%) 
Halapoulivaati Vaitai: 1 (2%)

Defensive notes

• Because of Nigel Bradham’s ankle injury (Bradham played 29 snaps before leaving), Nate Gerry played 62 snaps, Zach Brown played 58 and Kamu Grugier-Hill (still working back from his knee injury) played 35. Gerry’s previous career-high was 33. Through six games, Gerry has played 141 defensive snaps after playing just 134 all last season. Despite his expanded workload on defense, Gerry still had 25 special teams snaps, tied with Rudy Ford for most on the team. 

• Malcolm Jenkins played all 71 snaps against Minnesota and is now 405/405 on the season after not missing a single play in 2018. His durability is unmatched. 

• Rasul Douglas had a rough day but played the most of the corners (69 snaps), followed by Sidney Jones (52), Orlando Scandrick (13) and Craig James (5). 

Defense 

Malcolm Jenkins: 71 (100%)
Rodney McLeod: 71 (100%) 
Rasul Douglas: 69 (97%) 
Nathan Gerry: 62 (87%) 
Zach Brown: 58 (82%) 
Derek Barnett: 57 (80%) 
Brandon Graham: 55 (77%) 
Sidney Jones: 52 (73%) 
Fletcher Cox: 52 (73%) 
Hassan Ridgeway: 48 (68%)  
Akeem Spence: 37 (52%) 
Kamu Grugier-Hill: 35 (49%) 
Nigel Bradham: 29 (41%) 
Andrew Sendejo: 19 (27%) 
Vinny Curry: 18 (25%) 
Josh Sweat: 17 (24%) 
Orlando Scandrick: 13 (18%) 
T.J. Edwards: 10 (14%) 
Craig James: 5 (7%) 
Daeshon Hall: 3 (4%)

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