Alshon Jeffery’s long-awaited return to action has hit another snag. To the surprise of nobody at all.
Jeffery, who hasn’t played in nearly 11 months, finally rehabbed his foot to the point where he could return to practice, but his return to the playing field is on indefinite hold with a calf injury he apparently suffered a week ago Wednesday.
Doug Pederson on Wednesday morning was asked about Lane Johnson, Miles Sanders, Jeffery and Malik Jackson, and said Johnson, Sanders and Jackson are “day to day” and said Jeffery is “more day to day,” and while nobody is sure exactly what “more day to day” means, it’s clear that Jeffery won’t play against the Cowboys Sunday.
Jeffery appeared on the Eagles’ Oct. 20 injury report as limited with a foot injury. The next day he was listed as out for the Giants with the calf injury added to the foot. So the injury likely occurred at some point between the end of practice that Tuesday and the end of practice on Wednesday.
But today was the first indication from Pederson that the injury is a significant setback for the 30-year-old Jeffery.
Pederson hinted that the calf could be a compensatory injury related to the foot injury.
“Sometimes you see it with guys that have one injury and then they come back and something happens to another part of their body,” he said. “It is something that occurs. But when he’s healthy he’ll be out there and ready to go.”
Jeffery last played on Dec. 9, when he suffered a foot sprain in the Eagles’ win over the Giants at the Linc. He also missed most of the Falcons game and the entire Lions game with a calf injury. It’s not known if this is the same calf.
Jeffery caught just 43 passes for 490 yards last year.
There was plenty of good injury news Wednesday, as Johnson (knee), Sanders (knee), Jalen Reagor (thumb), Jason Peters (knee), Malik Jackson (quad), Dallas Goedert (ankle) and T.J. Edwards (hamstring) were all expected to participate in practice to some extent.
Pederson was vague about whether any of that group would be ready to play against the Cowboys on Sunday night. The Eagles have a bye next week and don’t play again until Nov. 15.
“You’ve got to be smart with that,” he said. “You don’t just throw a guy out there and expect him to pick up where he left off. It is a slow process. You’ve got to incorporate them back into practice a little bit. It goes back to the young guys who’ve been playing and playing well and getting better each week. It makes it a little more difficult as a staff to find the right combination of guys each week to play, but our veteran players are good players, and if they’re capable of playing, we’ve got to find a way to get them onto the field.”
Pederson did indicate that if anybody is back in time for Sunday night it would be Johnson.
“That guy doesn’t want to come off the field,” Pederson said. “He’s tough. He’s tough. … We have to be smart as a medical staff and coaches to not put a player in harm’s way [but] if Lane feels comfortable playing and getting out there, then listen, I’m not going to be the one that stands in his way. It does give us some added firepower with the offensive line if somebody like Lane can go.”
Pederson said offensive tackle Jack Driscoll (ankle) is "getting close."
DeSean Jackson, Zach Ertz, Isaac Seumalo, Andre Dillard and Hassan Ridgeway are on IR. Of that group, Seumalo is eligible to return to practice and Dillard and Ridgeway are out for the year. Brandon Brooks remains on PUP.