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November 14, 2019

Doug Pederson 'assumes' Eagles will attend Colin Kaepernick's workout in Atlanta

As of Thursday afternoon, the team hadn't committed to attend the impromptu workout, according to the league

UPDATE, Nov. 15: Eagles head coach Doug Pederson told reporters Friday that he "assumes" the Eagles will send someone to attend Colin Kaepernick's workout Saturday in Atlanta:

After expressing doubt Thursday about the event's viability, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday morning that the workout will still take place Saturday morning as scheduled.

ORIGINAL STORY, Nov. 14: As of Thursday afternoon, the Eagles haven't committed to send a representative to Atlanta for Colin Kaepernick's private workout, according to the NFL.

All 32 teams were informed of the upcoming workout on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, but as of Thursday afternoon only 11 teams had committed to send a representative to the workout:

The league mentioned in the tweet above that it plans on sending video of Kaepernick's workout, and his interview session, to the head coaches and general managers of all 32 NFL teams.

Halfway between Tuesday's announcement and Saturday's workout, why the Eagles haven't committed to attending is unclear. The team is preparing for its Week 11 matchup with the New England Patriots on Sunday, but Saturday is essentially an off day for home teams like the Eagles, with little more than a brief, informal walkthrough to fill the day before a game. The organization can surely spare one employee for the day.

The argument will also be made that the Eagles, with a franchise quarterback locked up for years to come in Carson Wentz, do not need to go out of their way to scout a backup quarterback. But the Eagles should be the last team in the league to devalue backup quarterbacks.

To be clear, the entire workout is essentially a sham. Kaepernick himself was only informed of the workout on Tuesday, giving him four days' time to prepare for a workout that will likely decide whether he will ever again be given a job in the NFL, and that's if you take the league and its owners at face value when they say they will fairly evaluate Kaepernick on his current skill level. Given the collective nature of the workout, rather than an individual basis, the entire event is likely just cover for the NFL to continue to keep Kaepernick out of the league.

Kaepernick, of course, hasn't played in a regular season NFL game since Jan. 1, 2017, a Week 17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. His decision to kneel during the national anthem in the face of what he called "a country that oppresses black people and people of color" that season garnered national attention, including responses from President Donald Trump.

Kaepernick, who led San Francisco to Super Bowl XLVII in February 2013, threw for 16 touchdowns and four interceptions during the 2016 regular season, completing 59.2% of his passes and averaging 6.8 yards per attempt while playing for a team that went 2-14. He also ran for 468 yards and two touchdowns.

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