Despite the fact that Lane Johnson has been limited in practice this week, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson is optimistic his Pro Bowl right tackle will be able to play on Sunday against the Giants.
"I'll be able to play and function," Johnson said.
Recently, Johnson revealed, he had his ankle drained again. But this week at practice he's been feeling better than he has in a while.
Johnson has practiced each day but hasn't taken his full complement of practice reps.
"Limited can be a little misleading sometimes. But he's in a good spot," Pederson said. "He's a lot like Alshon (Jeffery) right now where we need to get him and see where he's at today with a few more reps. But I'm optimistic that he's good to go for Sunday. Obviously would give that offensive line a big boost if he could go."
Since he played all 91 snaps against the Bengals, Johnson has played in just three of five games and missed significant snaps in all of them. But Johnson missed the Cowboys game before the break and then got to rest up during the bye week.
Johnson, 30, has been dealing with an ankle injury all season after a late-summer surgery. On top of that, he then suffered a knee injury. During practice this week, he's been wearing a brace on his left knee but the knee injury has been removed from the injury report. So it sounds like that surgically repaired ankle is still what's holding him back.
If you're skeptical about Johnson's readiness for this game, that's fair. Going into the weekend of the Cowboys game, he was expected to play but woke up that Sunday morning and was unable to go. Hopefully, the last two weeks of rest have done him good.
"The bye week was good for me," Johnson said.
If Johnson can't play — or if he needs to leave the game — Jack Driscoll or Jordan Mailata would take over. Driscoll is likely to return from an ankle injury of his own this week.
The injury report from the Eagles listed Craig James as out but everyone else on the roster is expected to play.
Here are a few other updates on key players from Doug Pederson on Friday morning:
Isaac Seumalo: Earlier this week, the Eagles activated the 21-day practice window for Seumalo, who has been out since he suffered a knee injury in Week 2. During the warmup period of practice on Thursday, Seumalo was the starting left guard, which seemed to be a positive sign.
It's still unclear if he'll make his return this weekend. The Eagles have until 4 p.m. Saturday to activate him off IR.
While the Eagles don't need to give practice statuses for players during their 21-day practice windows, Pederson on Friday said Seumalo has been limited.
"We wanted to incorporate him back into the offensive line and get him thinking football a little bit more," Pederson said. "But again today's going to be another big day at practice to see where he's at, not only physically but mentally going into potentially his first game back."
If Seumalo returns, he'll obviously play at left guard and we can expect Nate Herbig to be back at right guard. If Seumalo can't play, Herbig would stay at left guard and Matt Pryor would be at right guard.
Alshon Jeffery: It's been almost a year since Jeffery played in a football game and Pederson admitted it's going to take some time to get him back and feeling comfortable. But Jeffery is expected to play.
But Jeffery has been a full participant this week, which is a sign he's getting ready to return. Jeffery began the season on the shelf with a Lisfranc injury but it's a calf injury suffered in practice this year that has been holding him back recently.
"We do have a plan for him," Pederson said. "And without revealing that plan, listen, we've got to get through another day of practice first. He's done a good job with his rehab and put himself in a good position to practice this week and have a full complement of practice participation. So we'll see again today. But look, he's a veteran player, he's been one of our starters and we've got a plan if he's ready to go to get him in the game."
Miles Sanders: After missing the last couple of games with a knee injury, Sanders is poised to return this week. But after missing time in training camp and then the first game of the season, Sanders suffered from some fatigue in his return earlier this year.
So it's something to keep an eye on when he's out there on Sunday in his return.
"We have to monitor him," Pederson said. "We have to make sure that we don't see the signs of fatigue with him. But we haven't seen that this week in practice. He's done a nice job. We get through today and, again, optimistic that he'll be good to go."