- Saying he and quarterback Carson Wentz are "married" with the Eagles, head coach Doug Pederson looks ahead to Training Camp with an injury update and a reaction to Nigel Bradham's suspension.
LAKE TAHOE, NEVADA – As the days to the open of the 2018 Eagles Training Camp dwindle down to two weeks, head coach Doug Pederson understands how important the medical reports on several key players, including quarterback Carson Wentz, are going to be. Pederson wants his players on the field preparing for the season. He also wants to make sure that nobody is rushed into action before the team’s athletic training staff gives the go-ahead.
With that, Pederson is encouraged by the progress made by his injured players, although he’s not prepared to say definitively who will and who won’t be ready when practices begin on July 26.
“The last report I was given, all the rehab guys are doing really well,” Pederson said from the site of this weekend’s 29th Annual American Century Championship, the country’s premier celebrity golf tournament. “At the same time, we do have some time. I don’t want to rush anybody back until they are 100 percent. You’ve got to take into consideration the short offseason. Guys’ bodies are just now starting to feel good.”
Don’t get the idea, though, that Pederson is going to back off in Training Camp. He wants to set a tone for the season at the NovaCare Complex.
“I still want the physicality of camp. We’re still going to have live practices and things like that and keep that coming, but I’ve got to know when to pull off,” Pederson said.
As for quarterback Carson Wentz and his progress, Pederson is keeping everything positive. Wentz, who suffered a torn left anterior cruciate ligament in a December 10 win at the Los Angeles Rams, is still a daily visitor to the NovaCare Complex for his rehab. Pederson isn’t making any predictions about when Wentz might be ready to get on the field all the way, even after Wentz participated in some 7-on-7 drills in the spring practices.
“I honestly really don’t know when Carson will be cleared,” Pederson said. “I’m asked about it every day everywhere I go. This is one of those deals where you have to trust your medical staff. I want Carson to play for 15, 20 years if he can. We’re in Year 3. He and I are married together and we’re just going to make sure this is right before he plays.”
In non-injury news since the Eagles broke for five weeks, linebacker Nigel Bradham was suspended by the NFL for the opening game against Atlanta from an off-the-field incident that occurred in July 2016. A key for the Eagles in their Super Bowl success, Bradham was an offseason priority to re-sign in free agency.
His absence will challenge the defense, but Pederson expects the roster to step up and fill the void.
“It’s disappointing that it happened and the players have to understand, and they do, that we are all going to be held accountable for our actions,” Pederson said. “I’m glad that it’s just one game and it starts the season. We have some options and we’ll look at them closely for that first game. We need someone to step up. It happened last year and we did a good job replacing the starters who went down. I expect the same this year.”