Doug Pederson begins chess match to prep injured Eagles for unbeaten Lions squad

The 2019 season is barely two weeks old and the Eagles’ depth is already being tested.

Before the Eagles even played a snap in Week 2, tight end Dallas Goedert reaggravated the calf he injured during the preseason and spent the entire game on the sideline.

Once the game began, a litany of others joined him, including fellow pass catchers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery.

That would have been tough enough for the Eagles to overcome, but defensive tackle Tim Jernigan and running back Corey Clement both suffered injuries that caused them to leave the game.

But wait, there was more, as Nelson Agholor, Jason Kelce, Sidney Jones, and Carson Wentz all spent time in the medical tent before returning to the game seemingly no worse for wear.

Because the team returned to Philadelphia in wee hours of the morning, head coach Doug Pederson had not met with the medical staff by the time he spoke to the media Monday and was unable to provide any updates to the team’s laundry list of injuries.

However, Pederson did make time to watch the film of the heartbreaking loss to Atlanta, and while he saw plenty of opportunities to improve, he also saw a team that made the best of a less-than-ideal situation.

The situation was most dire amongst the receiving corps, which saw three targets sidelined before the end of the first quarter. This forced veterans such as Agholor and Zach Ertz to become coaches on the field in an effort to help teammates who were suddenly thrust into expanded roles.

It also forced Pederson and the rest of his staff to change the game plan on the fly.

“It affects it ... it affects it a lot,” Pederson said when asked about how the injuries affected his plan of attack. “If you were to look at my call sheet this morning, you’re going to see a lot of scratch outs on plays and different things.”

Despite the upheaval, the Eagles still had a chance to come away with an improbable road win over a Falcons team that was desperate not to fall to 0-2.

“My hat’s off to those guys for hanging in there,” Pederson said.

But now the real work begins. The Eagles have six days to prepare for the Lions, but then have a date with Aaron Rodgers and the surging Packers at Lambeau Field only four days later.

Thus, begins the chess match to see how the roster can be reshaped and revamped to get through a tough 10-day stretch.

For better or worse, the Eagles have plenty of experience in these situations and the depth they stockpiled during the offseason will have to help them bounce back from the first loss of the season.

“We’ll make it work. I mean, that’s just what we do,” Pederson said. “We find a way, we coach up the guys that are going to play, and we go play.”

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