The Eagles are exactly two weeks from kicking off their regular season and there are still plenty of questions about some of their most important players.
On Sunday before practice, we got a few updates.
Lane Johnson: The Eagles’ right tackle hasn’t practiced in a few weeks with a knee injury, but the plan was always to get him ready for the opener.
“It’s good,” Johnson said. “I’ll be ready for Week 1.”
Last year, Johnson played through a lot of the season with a significant MCL sprain and he said he’ll “probably” have to play through injury again in 2019.
“It’s how it is,” he said. “I feel lucky to even be out there. That’s just how it is. A lot of guys are banged up year in, year out. I feel I’m better right now than I was last year.”
Fletcher Cox: The Eagles’ All-Pro defensive tackle is still recovering from offseason surgery on his foot from an injury he suffered in the Saints playoff game.
Is Pederson confident Cox will be ready for Week 1?
“I’m confident that he’ll be there,” Pederson said. “Listen, everybody is different. But I’m confident and our goal is to have everybody ready.”
We should point out that while Pederson said he’s confident, his body language didn’t necessarily follow that. Less than two weeks ago, Cox said his rehab was going well, but wouldn’t put a date on his return.
Nigel Bradham: Bradham is also recovering from foot surgery for an injury suffered in that Saints game.
Pederson was asked about Bradham and Cox lumped together. Here’s what he said he’s expecting from both of them this week in practice:
“A couple things. At least be able to get out there and go through the walk-throughs with the defense. Nigel’s been able to do that last week and get out there and do some individual work. And Fletcher was doing that for a while. And then now, both of those guys, for me … realistically, I want to have everybody for Week 1. That’s the goal, that’s still the goal, to have everybody ready for Week 1. But they’re sprinkling in, in the walkthrough this week and then hopefully we get them all next week.”
Brandon Brooks: The Eagles’ starting right guard was cleared to participate in 1-on-1 drills last week against the Ravens and must have done fine because he has been cleared for more work this week.
For the first time since that Saints game when he tore his Achilles, Brooks will get some team drills this week in practice.
“He’s looking really good in everything that he’s doing,” Pederson said. “He’s moving well. He’s been cleared to increase his load a little bit this week, give him some more team reps this week and see where he’s at. We just gotta be careful; he’s a big guy. … He’s looking good, he’s looking powerful and I’m excited about that.”
Last week, Brooks said 1-on-1s were a good test because they’re physical but don’t have the added danger of team drills, where a body could fall on you. The fact that he’ll be allowed to take team drills this week is encouraging, but we have just two weeks before the opener. If he’s not 100 percent healed for Week 1, the Eagles and Brooks can’t risk it. Halapoulivaati Vaitai would start.
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