October 28, 2019
The Eagles escaped Sunday's game in Buffalo with a win, and more importantly for a team that's already been ravaged by injuries, they escaped mostly healthy.
The one exception was running back Miles Sanders, who broke away for a 65-yard touchdown run in the second half and then was never seen from again after heading into the locker room with a shoulder injury. After initial X-rays on the rookie came back negative, head coach Doug Pederson provided some more good news on Monday at his weekly day-after press conference.
"Miles is going to be OK," Pederson said. "He had further testing done today [and] everything came back positive. We're going to take him day-by-day this week and see where he is at the end of the week."
That doesn't mean the rookie running back is a lock to play on Sunday, but it's certainly looking better than the last time we saw him — when he was heading into the tunnel with his left arm hanging by his side. Not only would Sanders' quick return be big for the run game, as he's been the lightning to Jordan Howard's thunder, but it would also be be a big help to a passing game that's been lacking in big plays this season.
And that ability to catch passes and make plays downfield, albeit somewhat surprisingly, has been a big part of Sanders' game this season.
Miles Sanders has more catches of 25 yards or more than Julio Jones, Odell Beckham, Larry Fitzgerald, Adam Thielen, Michael Thomas, JuJu Smith-Schuster or DeAndre Hopkins.— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) October 28, 2019
Part of the reason that's been such a big boost for the offense is because of the continued absence of wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen), who went off for two touchdowns of over 50 yards in the opener before injuring his abdomen the following week. Instead of opting for surgery that would've likely had Jackson back on the field this week anyway, the veteran wideout elected for rehab instead. And, perhaps finally, Jackson could return to the field this week.
"DeSean — we can begin, as part of his rehab and his protocol, we can incorporate him back into practice a little bit on Wednesday and see where he's at as the week progresses," Pederson told reporters.
A good week of practice without any setbacks could mean Jackson finally suits up on Sunday against the Bears. But as NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn reports, even when Jackson returns, he'll likely have to deal with some nagging pain because he opted not to have the corrective surgery.
I'm told that whenever Desean Jackson returns to the playing field...,he may have to deal with nagging pain of his abdomen injury for the rest of the season.— Derrick Gunn (@RealDGunnNBCS) October 28, 2019
Another offensive player who's been sidelined of late is Darren Sproles (quad), whose absence has largely been negated by Sanders' pass-catching ability. According to Pederson, he's in a similar position to Jackson and could find his way back onto the field on Sunday if he has a healthy week of practice.
"Darren Sproles, kind of the same way [as DeSean Jackson]," Pederson said. "As he continues to rehab and get healthy, we can incorporate him a little this week. Again, see where he is at at week's end."
Unfortunately for the Eagles offense, it doesn't look like they'll be getting left tackle Jason Peters (knee) back this week.
"Jason [Peters] probably not [ready for practice]," Pederson said. "We'll still hold him."
With the bye week on the horizon following Sunday's matchup with Chicago — coupled with a solid showing from rookie Andre Dillard on Sunday — it only makes sense that the Birds wouldn't rush back the 37-year old veteran.
So, what about the injured defensive players? Well, we got some updates on them as well.
According to Pederson, Avonte Maddox (head/neck), who suffered a gruesome injury back in the Eagles' Week 4 win over the Packers, will continue practicing this week after getting back on the field for the first time in almost a month on Friday.
"Well, you know Avonte [Maddox] practiced on Friday," Pederson said. "So he'll be back in the mix in practice this week. We're excited about that."
Middle linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle), who missed the last two games with an injury, and defensive tackle Tim Jernigan (foot), who hasn't played since Week 2 after breaking his foot against Atlanta, are both considered day-to-day, meaning there's a chance they suit up this week as well. Unfortunately, Pederson sees their return to action coming at a slightly slower pace than some of the players mentioned above.
"Nigel [Bradham] is day-to-day," Pederson said. "We're going to take him probably a little bit slower, but probably day-to-day with him. Same with Tim Jernigan."
And finally, there's cornerback Cre'Von LeBlanc, who's been sidelined all season with a foot injury. He's eligible to be activated from IR this week, but according to Pederson, he's still in rehab and isn't quite ready to return to the field yet.
Stay tuned for more on all these players as the week progresses.
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