Eagles release statement after invite to White House rescinded

Eagles release statement after invite to White House rescinded

A few hours after President Donald Trump disinvited the Eagles to the White House, the team released a statement that didn’t even mention him. 

Instead, the Eagles’ statement was about moving on: 

“It has been incredibly thrilling to celebrate our first Super Bowl Championship. Watching the entire Eagles community come together has been an inspiration. We are truly grateful for all of the support we have received and we are looking forward to continuing our preparations for the 2018 season.”

This statement is pretty much in line from the public position the Eagles have had about the White House visit for months … they’d rather not talk about it. 

A small group of players was still planning on heading to Washington D.C. Tuesday for the customary celebratory trip for Super Bowl champions, but the president canceled with less than 24 hours notice (see story)

Trump said, in a statement, that the Eagles disagree with him “because he insists they proudly stand” for the national anthem and also said it was unfair to fans attending that just a small group of players was attending. Instead, the president is holding a “Celebration of America” on the South Lawn without the Super Bowl champs. 

While the Eagles’ statement noticeably and deliberately lacks teeth, there were plenty of politicians who were more opinionated about Trump’s decision, starting with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (see story).

More on White House trip, anthem

• Citing anthem protests, Trump disinvites Eagles

• Politicians react, one calling Trump 'fragile egomaniac'

• Players react to Eagles' White House trip being axed

• Eagles saw honor of White House visit

• Trump's anthem comments put Eagles in tough spot

• Lurie's statement on anthem policy fell short

• Jenkins, Long don't hold back on anthem policy

• Wentz was open to going to White House

• Jenkins didn't see visit as 'beneficial'

• How anthem policy affects Eagles

Why did Eagles draft JJ Arcega-Whiteside over D.K. Metcalf?

Why did Eagles draft JJ Arcega-Whiteside over D.K. Metcalf?

It’s hard not to compare J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and D.K. Metcalf.

They play the same position, they were taken seven spots apart in this year’s draft, and they’ll both be playing at the Linc on Sunday.

Through 10 games?

Metcalf has 35 catches for 595 yards, 23 first downs and five touchdowns.

Arcega-Whiteside has 3 catches for 43 yards, 1 first down and no touchdowns.

It’s still awfully early. But so far the Seahawks’ rookie has a monumental edge in production.

Doug Pederson said Wednesday that the Eagles liked Metcalf coming out of Mississippi. 

They just liked Arcega-Whiteside better. 

“We liked the player,” Pederson said. “He’s a big, powerful, physical guy, and he had some really good tape out there. And then we also liked J.J. We loved his size, his ability to play above the rim so to speak in the red zone and things like that. Similar players and made the decision with J.J. and we’ve been happy with that.”

The Eagles took JJAW with the 57th pick in this year’s draft, and the Seahawks selected Metcalf at No. 64. 

Metalf’s 595 receiving yards leads all NFL rookies, and Redskins rookie Terry McLaurin, a 3rd-round pick, is second with 566. 

The Eagles could have had either one. 

Metcalf and McLaurin are tied with the second-most receptions this year by rookies, three fewer than 49ers wideout Deebo Samuel, the 36th pick out of South Carolina. 

The only Seahawk in franchise history with more yards in his first 10 games of his career than Metcalf is Joey Galloway, a high 1st-round pick who had 650 in 1995.  

Metcalf has played 577 snaps. Arcega-Whiteside has played 195 but only 62 in the last six games.

His 29-yard reception against the Patriots Sunday was his first catch since Week 3.

“He did some nice things in the game, even though the ball necessarily didn’t come his way,” Pederson said. “He ran some really good routes and he played physical. The signs of him getting work in practice kind of paid off in the game and it will just give him more confidence moving forward.”

With Alshon Jeffery’s status still up in the air, there’s a chance JJAW will get more work against the Seahawks.

But it won’t be as much as Metcalf.

The only person who can really explain why the Eagles liked Arcega-Whiteside more than Metcalf is Howie Roseman, and he doesn’t do interviews during the season.

So Pederson sometimes has to answer questions about personnel that really aren’t his department.

“Young players sometimes it just takes time,” Pederson said. “It takes time to settle into their role, to understand their role and then to understand our game, to be able to play fast and to be able to play at a high level, and he showed some of that Sunday.”

Metcalf has been showing that every Sunday. 

It’s still way too early to write off Arcega-Whiteside or speculate who’s going to end up having the better career. There is certainly no reason to think JJAW won’t become a key part of this offense. 

But something is holding him back right now. Whether it’s coaching or just a poor evaluation by Roseman and his scouts, something is keeping him off the field. 

Meanwhile, Metcalf is producing at a high level as a 21-year-old rookie for one of the NFL’s best teams. 

And the way the Eagles’ wide receivers have been playing, it’s hard not to wonder how things would have gone if the Eagles had taken Metcalf instead.

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Eagles injury update: Nigel Bradham returning to practice field

Eagles injury update: Nigel Bradham returning to practice field

Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham, who has missed the last four games with an ankle injury, will return to the practice field today, according to head coach Doug Pederson. 

Bradham, 30, hasn’t played since the Vikings game on Oct. 13.

On Tuesday, Bradham wasn’t sure if he’d be ready for this Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. 

“Hopefully,” he said. “That’s the goal, but can’t force it.” 

Getting their top linebacker back would be a huge boost for the Eagles. Since Bradham has been out, Nate Gerry has assumed defensive play call responsibilities. While Jim Schwartz wouldn’t say the plan for when Bradham returns, it would stand to reason that Bradham would take back that job. 

“It’s been difficult (to miss games), not being out there to contribute with the team,” Bradham said. “It’s obviously tough, but I think our young guys are doing well. We just gotta keep motivating them and keep them going until the time I can come back.” 

Here are a few other injury updates from Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex: 

Lane Johnson: Johnson is still in the concussion protocol and the Eagles are preparing to play on Sunday without him. That means rookie Andre Dillard will spend the week getting first-team reps at right tackle. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who struggled after replacing Johnson on Sunday, will be the swing tackle. 

For the most part, Dillard has only ever played left tackle, so this will be an important week of practice for the first-round pick. 

Jordan Howard: The Eagles’ workhorse running back still hasn’t been cleared for contact and won’t be allowed to play until that happens. Howard suffered a stinger in the Bears game on Nov. 3 and even with the bye, missed the Patriots game on Sunday. He’ll be a limited participant in practice until he gets cleared, which means he’ll participate in individual drills. 

Pederson said Howard is improving. “It’s just a slow process right now,” he added.

If Howard can’t play this coming Sunday, it’s possible Jay Ajayi could find a role. Pederson emphasized on Wednesday, though, that the Eagles re-signed Ajayi to fill Darren Sproles’ roster spot and it had nothing to do with Howard, despite their similar playing styles. Still, Howard’s injury could create opportunity for Ajayi. 

Alshon Jeffery: Jeffery (ankle) is expected to be a limited participant in practice this week. He suffered his injury against the Bears and missed the Patriots game. 

Nelson Agholor: Agholor was not at Wednesday’s practice, presumably for injury reasons. Agholor banged his knee pretty hard on the ground in the end zone on that fourth down play in the fourth quarter Sunday. 

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