After congratulating the Philadelphia Soul for winning their second consecutive Arena League title on Saturday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson got into the important matters at hand for his football team – namely a list of injuries that is minor compared to many teams in the NFL at this point in the preseason.
The list contained 11 names, with only cornerback Sidney Jones and his Achilles tendon injury one that will carry into the regular season. Others who missed practice on Sunday: cornerback Ron Brooks, tight end Brent Celek, quarterback Nick Foles, linebacker Nathan Gerry, linebacker Najee Goode, defensive end Brandon Graham, linebacker Jordan Hicks, cornerback Jalen Mills, wide receiver Paul Turner, and defensive tackle Destiny Vaeao.
Pederson insists that Foles, nursing an elbow injury, will be fine for the regular season. Foles has not played in three preseason games and has rested the elbow for much of the last month. He will throw this week and it has not been determined if Foles will play in Thursday's preseason finale.
"It's still day to day with him," Pederson said. "We don't want to rush him. These are sensitive elbow issues and being on the throwing arm, I just want to make sure that he's getting the proper amount of throws. That's why we're going to ease him back in again this week and get him ready for the regular season."
When asked if he was confident that Foles would be ready to back up Carson Wentz on September 10 when the Eagles open the regular season at Washington, Pederson didn't hesitate in his answer.
"I am. I am," Pederson said, who added that Foles' situation would not impact the team's decision to carry two or three quarterbacks when the roster is reduced to 53 players by Saturday at 4 p.m.
Pederson also talked about the unique situation of this week. With 86 players on the roster, the Eagles don't need to put any of their projected starters or key backups, or any backups for that matter, in harm's way on Thursday night in the preseason finale. So part of this week is important as the Eagles start preparing for Washington in practice. The starters will focus on the Redskins.
For those playing on Thursday night, the preseason finale is vital. Those players are trying to make the Eagles' 53-man roster or the practice squad, and they're also auditioning for the other 31 teams.
"We spend these next couple of days just kind of focusing on Washington a little bit, our season-opening opponent," Pederson said. "Our so-called starters, the guys who we think are going to play in that game, give them a couple of opportunities to look at the fronts, the coverages, see the formations and some of the plays right now just to get them started that way.
"Then on top of that, our guys who are going to be playing on Thursday. We've got to get them ready to go for a little more preseason and give them every opportunity to showcase their talents in hopes of making the roster."
Pederson said that newly activated defensive tackle Beau Allen, who practiced for the first time on Sunday, should be in line for some playing time against the Jets. Pederson also said that he would like to see cornerback Dexter McDougle, whom the Eagles traded for on Sunday, play against New York, the team with which he played for three seasons plus this preseason.
Matt McGloin has benefited from Foles's absence and has made his bid to make the roster. He will likely start on Thursday night after completing 22-of-26 passes against the Dolphins last week.
"He's been a pleasure to have in camp," Pederson said, praising McGloin's intelligence and mental and physical toughness.