Eagles ask Pederson to make this week harder

Eagles ask Pederson to make this week harder

There's a pretty big reason why the Eagles like playing for Doug Pederson. 

He listens. 

So when the Eagles' player council came to him with the suggestion they strap on the pads this week and have a tougher week of practice, Pederson obliged. It sort of fits into that emotional intelligence category. It's just the latest example of Pederson's willingness to listen and trust his players. 

"They just came to me and kind of asked if we could get back into pads," Pederson said. "I didn't ask questions, and I said, ‘Sure.’"

Without a game this weekend, the Eagles will still practice twice this week and once with pads. This comes after a week in which the Eagles had just a couple of walkthroughs and one light practice day. 

The Eagles will possibly put on pads one day next week as well. 

Several players on the offensive side of the ball seem to think tougher practices might help them out of their funk (see story). The Eagles will practice Wednesday and Thursday this week. 

Pederson noted coaches handle this bye week in the playoffs differently. Some elect to give the team the week off, some have meetings, some do walkthroughs and some practice with shells. 

During his playing days in Green Bay, Pederson remembers times when the coaches would get them in pads for a day of practice during that bye week. So when his players came to him and asked for it, he quickly gave them their wish. 

"I think they understand that there is a sense of physicality that we have to get back to," Pederson said. "I'm not saying we're not there because obviously football is a physical game, but I think there is a sense over the course of a few weeks when you've been in shells, pad level begins to rise, and intensity sometimes can be minimized.

"So you get back into pads and it sort of refocuses the guys a little bit. It's not like we're going to tackle. It's not a training camp type of practice. The fact of just having them on, banging around on one another, but still protecting each other, I think can be a nice asset for us going into our first game."

Malcolm Jenkins fined $12,500 for blasting NFL replay official

Malcolm Jenkins fined $12,500 for blasting NFL replay official

Updated: 7:59 p.m.

Malcolm Jenkins has been fined $12,500 by the NFL for a comment he made about the replay official after the Eagles-Cowboys game, a league spokesperson said Saturday. 

The Eagles — and everybody else in the universe — thought they had recovered Jourdan Lewis’ fumble on the opening kickoff of the Eagles-Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium last Sunday. Kamu Grugier-Hill emerged from a pileup with the football and the only other players in the pile were Eagles.

But the officials ruled that Lewis was down by contact and although the league’s replay official in New York overruled that part of the ruling and said it actually was a fumble, he also ruled that there was “no clear recovery” of the football, which meant the Cowboys got the ball. They went on to win, 29-23, in overtime.

After the game, Jenkins said, “Whoever’s watching that in New York should stay off the bottle (see story).”

Although the replay official was clearly wrong and apparently didn’t understand the rules, you really can’t expect to accuse league officials of being drunk without getting fined. 

Although $12,500 is a large amount of money, it’s a fraction of Jenkins’ four-year, $35 million contract that he signed in 2016.

Jenkins used Eagles' fans' frustration about the fine as a fundraising opportunity for his charity, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation. 

This is the second time Jenkins has been fined this year for something that didn’t involve his play on the field. He was fined $13,369 for making an obscene gesture toward Saints coach Sean Payton during the Eagles’ 49-8 loss to the Saints last month.

Jenkins was also fined $8,268 for a facemask personal foul on Preston Parker during an Eagles game against the Giants on the last day of the 2014 season.

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Carson Wentz out for Eagles vs. Rams with back fracture

Carson Wentz out for Eagles vs. Rams with back fracture

In perhaps the least surprising injury update in NFL history, the Eagles on Saturday morning ruled Carson Wentz out for their game Sunday against the Rams.

Nick Foles, who led the Eagles on last year’s late-season surge that led to the Super Bowl championship, will make his first start since Week 3 in the nationally televised prime-time game at L.A. Coliseum.

Less than 24 hours before the Eagles ruled Wentz out, head coach Doug Pederson told reporters Wentz would be listed as questionable for the Rams despite a fractured vertebrae in his back that he said would take three months to heal.

Pederson insisted that despite the injury and prognosis Wentz had a chance to play. The questionable designation generally means a player has about a 50 percent chance of playing.

How could Wentz possibly play against the Rams after suffering a broken bone that's going to take three months to heal and kept him out of practice all week?

He couldn't.

Wentz was never going to play Sunday and everybody knew it. 

The Eagles downgraded him from questionable to doubtful late Friday afternoon and then downgraded him again to “out” Saturday morning.

The period of time between Pederson saying Wentz was questionable — about 10:30 a.m. Friday — to the time the Eagles ruled him out — about 11:10 a.m. Saturday — was less than 25 hours.

It's conceivable that the Eagles got more information about Wentz's injury during that period, but Pederson spoke Friday as if the team had a pretty clear idea of exactly what was happening with Wentz's back after the latest battery of test results.

Why would the Eagles play games with the injury report? Maybe in the question for a competitive advantage, to keep the Rams guessing, although the Rams surely knew like everybody else that Wentz never had any chance of playing this weekend.

In any case, Foles will start in the same stadium where he replaced Wentz a year ago this week after Wentz tore his ACL. He rallied the Eagles to a win that clinched a playoff berth and eventually to postseason wins over the Falcons, Vikings and Patriots to earn Super Bowl MVP honors.

Foles went 1-1 to open the season, with a win over the Falcons and a loss to the Bucs. He completed 66 percent of his passes with one TD, one interception and a 78.9 passer rating.

Foles, the NFL record holder with a 113.2 postseason passer rating, is 21-11 in 32 starts in an Eagles uniform, and his .656 winning percentage is highest in Eagles history among quarterbacks who started at least 16 games.

The Eagles, 6-7 coming off a loss in Dallas, go into Sunday with just a 17 percent chance of reaching the playoffs, but if they beat the Rams that number goes up to 43 percent. If they beat the Rams and then the Texans that figure increases to 56 percent. If they win out, it goes up to 76 percent.

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