Doug Pederson on Wednesday morning said he expects right tackle Lane Johnson and running back Darren Sproles to be able to play Sunday night against the Cowboys.
Those are two big nuggets of news. Sproles hasn’t played since Week 1 because of a hamstring injury and Johnson sprained his MCL in the Jaguars game on Oct. 28. Both were limited practice participants Wednesday.
Based on Pederson’s press conference …
It sounds like the following players will be able to play Sunday:
• Darren Sproles (hamstring)
• Lane Johnson (knee)
• Corey Graham (hamstring)
And the following won’t:
• Jalen Mills (foot)
• Sidney Jones (hamstring)
• Tim Jernigan (back)
Those things could, of course, change, but that’s how it sounded Wednesday morning.
Jason Kelce was missing at Wednesday's practice, but for non-injury reasons.
Johnson’s MCL sprain has been reported to be a Grade 2 sprain, which is normally a multi-week injury. Johnson had already been playing through a high ankle sprain. He had a brace on his right knee at practice.
“Listen, Lane’s a tough guy now. He is a tough guy,” Pederson said. “In his mind, I think he would want to play. Our expectation is that he does play. At the same time, I say that, but I don’t want to put somebody out there that might be less than 100 percent too. We’ll get him ready like we get all the guys ready and the expectation is that he will play.”
Lane Johnson practicing and preparing to play Sunday with an MCL sprain. pic.twitter.com/LpPAZQ1IJU— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) November 7, 2018
Sproles hasn’t played since Week 1 and it feels like Pederson has been saying Sproles is close since Week 2. But getting him back to practice is a good sign he’ll be able to go. So was cutting DeAndre Carter, who had been the team’s punt returner in Sproles’ absence. If Sproles can't play, Pederson said it has a punt return plan, but wouldn't divulge it.
Pederson said Mills is day to day, but “might be a touch longer” after hurting his foot in Jacksonville.
While Pederson said Graham will get practice time this week, he said Jones is a “little bit different,” making it seem like Jones will be out for a while longer.
Sidney Jones, Mack Hollins and Richard Rodgers are working with trainers on a side field. #Eagles— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) November 7, 2018
If Mills and Jones can’t play, the Eagles will likely start Rasul Douglas outside and might move Avonte Maddox to nickel cornerback to play Graham at safety. The Eagles also cut Dexter McDougle, who had been the nickel corner and brought in Cre’Von LeBlanc. A lot of moving parts.
Finally, Jernigan (back) is still on the non-football injury list but has been cleared to practice. The Eagles have three weeks to add him to their active roster.
“We’re going to bring [Jernigan] slowly, day by day,” Pederson said. “We've got time with him. We don’t have to do anything right now. We've got a couple weeks with him. Each day, we’re going to give him more and more. He hasn’t done anything football wise in a long time. So just want to see where he’s at health-wise here each day.”
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