Updated: 1:21 p.m.
Some good news from the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday morning: Doug Pederson is back to work.
Pederson, 52, had been away from the team facility since early August when he tested positive for COVID-19. He informed his team on the evening of Aug. 2 and had been out since then. In order to return, Pederson had to pass the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.
“I obviously didn’t want to miss any time if I didn’t have to but I stayed engaged virtually with the team,” Pederson said on Wednesday afternoon. “I was able to watch the practices and stay up on everything that we did and still run the team from my home. I think that’s something that the offseason taught us, taught me, how to do that virtually. But at the same time, I was chomping, I was ready to get back here and be out on the grass with the players.”
While Pederson ran virtual meetings from his home, assistant head coach/running backs coach Duce Staley took over all in-person head coaching responsibilities while Pederson was quarantined.
Before Pederson even tested positive, he spoke about the need for the Eagles to have contingency plans for all players and coaches. The Eagles had to use their contingency plan for him pretty early.
But Pederson noted he was lucky in a way to contract the virus when he did. In fact, the timing worked out great. The Eagles enter the Gradual Ramp Up Period of training camp on Wednesday, which means Pederson will be able to coach the first practice of the summer in person.
Despite his positive test, Pederson remained confident about a 2020 season.
“My confidence hasn’t changed at all. I’m extremely optimistic,” Pederson said on Aug. 3. “I feel like we’re going to play. I’m confident that we’re going to play.
“It’s unfortunate. Like I told my team last night, this virus, it holds no prejudices, right? It doesn’t matter. It can affect any one of us. I’m sure many of you have had family members or loved ones or people you know who have been affected by this virus. That part of it doesn’t matter. It’s just the fact that we’ve got to abide by the protocols that are in place. They’re in place for a reason, our safety. Our building is a great place to be. It is a safe place to be for our players and our coaches and all who are involved.
“I’m looking forward. It’s full-steam ahead for me. Obviously, I’m itching to get back in the building at some point and be around our players and get these guys ready for a season.”
While there’s no list for coaches, the Eagles have placed three players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Of those three, who were placed on the list in late July, Lane Johnson and Nathan Gerry have been cleared to return to action. Only Jordan Mailata remains on the list.
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