The Eagles ruled out three players for Sunday's game against the Steelers – wide receivers DeSean Jackson (hamstring) and Alshon Jeffery (non-COVID illness/foot), and cornerback Avonte Maddox (ankle).
Everyone else is good to go.
The Eagles hoped to get Jeffery additional practice reps this week, but he's been home due to the illness. Jackson was a limited participant in practice all week. He's been sidelined since exiting the Week 3 game against Cincinnati.
"It's all about strengthening and getting him healthy there and making sure that he can – there's no soreness," Head Coach Doug Pederson said. "You want him to be 100 percent, and so just trusting that plan, that those guys have put together for DeSean, is really what I lean on. Then just talking to DeSean and just seeing how he feels these last couple of days."
The Eagles currently have J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Travis Fulgham, John Hightower, and Greg Ward as healthy options at wide receiver. Quez Watkins practiced for the past two weeks and he is an option to be activated from Injured Reserve. Deontay Burnett could be called up from the practice squad again, but he would have to be signed to the active roster.
With Maddox set to miss a second straight game with the ankle injury, the Eagles could move Jalen Mills from safety to cornerback once again and start rookie K'Von Wallace at safety. The Eagles could also activate Craig James from the Injured Reserve list and add him to the cornerback mix.
Another position to watch on Sunday is linebacker. Starting middle linebacker T.J. Edwards was placed on Injured Reserve this week with the hamstring injury he suffered against the 49ers.
"Nate (Gerry) has played that spot in the middle before. Shaun Bradley is the next sort of that backup linebacker in that spot, as well, and I do feel like Shaun is ready to go," Pederson said. "It's always been a next-man-up mentality around here and we know at the linebacker position over the last couple of seasons, we've shifted some guys around.
"But we are comfortable with Nate playing in there and Alex Singleton coming into the mix along with Duke Riley, along with Shaun Bradley and Davion Taylor. We are comfortable with the group that we have, and we know that they are going to play well in T.J.'s absence until he comes back."
T.J. Watt ready to go for Steelers
Linebacker T.J. Watt, the AFC's leader in sacks a year ago, appeared on the injury report Thursday with a knee injury that kept him out of practice. He returned to practice on Friday and was a full participant. He told reporters following practice that there was "no doubt" that he would play on Sunday.
Watt's brother, fullback Derek, is out with a hamstring injury and linebacker Marcus Allen is out due to a foot injury.
After the Eagles placed linebacker T.J. Edwards and safety Rudy Ford on the Injured Reserve list on Thursday, only two players missed practice ahead of Sunday's showdown with Pittsburgh.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
• WR Alshon Jeffery (illness) – Jeffery is working his way back from last December's foot injury. He was limited in Wednesday's practice. The illness designation is new for Thursday.
• CB Avonte Maddox (ankle) – Maddox injured his ankle two weeks ago against the Bengals. The question is whether the Eagles will move Jalen Mills from safety back to cornerback for a second week in a row.
• WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring) – Jackson was a limited participant for the second day in a row.
• T Lane Johnson (ankle) – After missing Wednesday's practice, Johnson returned in a limited capacity. As Head Coach Doug Pederson said earlier in the week, this is an injury that Johnson will manage for the remainder of the season.
• S Rodney McLeod (hamstring) – Good news for the Eagles as the starting safety did not participate in Wednesday's practice. The Eagles are already dealing with Maddox's injury and don't need to deal with another domino in the secondary.
• WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (calf) – The second-year wide receiver is on track to return after missing Sunday night's game.
• DT Fletcher Cox (Not injury related - rest) – Having Cox rested with the defensive line rounding into form is scary.
• S Marcus Epps (rib) – Epps was limited on Wednesday. He had an expanded role against the 49ers with Mills going to cornerback.
• G Nate Herbig (groin) – Herbig was limited on Wednesday.
• C Jason Kelce (hip) – Kelce, too, was limited on Wednesday.
Steelers add edge rusher T.J. Watt misses Thursday's practice
Linebacker T.J. Watt, who led the AFC with 14.5 sacks in 2019, did not practice Thursday as he was added to the injury report with a knee injury. Watt against tackle Lane Johnson is one of the marquee in-game matchups for Sunday.
T.J.'s brother, fullback Derek, and linebacker Marcus Allen were the only other players who did not practice Thursday for the Steelers. They are coming off their unexpected bye week following the postponement of their game with the Titans.
Here's a look at the Eagles' injury report for Wednesday as the team practiced for the first time in advance of Sunday's matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
• LB T.J. Edwards (hamstring) – Edwards left Sunday's win with a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Alex Singleton, who had the pick-six to help secure the win. Head Coach Doug Pederson indicated that Edwards would miss this Steelers matchup.
• S Rudy Ford (hamstring) – A key special teams contributor, Ford also exited the 49ers game early with a hamstring injury. And like Edwards, Ford is expected to miss Sunday's game. Craig James returned to practice, but it remains to be seen whether he will be activated from Injured Reserve.
• T Lane Johnson (ankle) – Pederson said that the All-Pro tackle would have to manage the ankle injury for the rest of the season. Johnson missed the season opener and left Sunday's game in the first half to address it before returning.
• CB Avonte Maddox (ankle) – Maddox suffered the injury in the Bengals game with the expectation that he would miss some time. Jalen Mills moved from safety to Maddox's spot at cornerback for the 49ers game.
• S Rodney McLeod (hamstring) – As Fran Duffy noted, McLeod had an outstanding game against the 49ers, playing a lot more in the box instead of post safety. This will be an injury to monitor closely as the week continues. He is the only player on defense to play every snap this season.
• DT Fletcher Cox (not injury related - rest)
• S Marcus Epps (rib) – Epps had an increased role on defense with the Maddox injury, playing 44 snaps against the 49ers.
• G Nate Herbig (groin) – An unsung hero early in the year, Herbig has settled nicely into the left guard spot with Isaac Seumalo injured.
• WR DeSean Jackson (hamstring) – Pederson is confident that the Eagles will get to see the Jackson who torched Washington for two long touchdowns to open the 2019 season at some point.
• WR Alshon Jeffery (foot) – Pederson would not reveal if the veteran makes his season debut this week.
• C Jason Kelce (hip) – Just a warrior. He, Herbig, and quarterback Carson Wentz are the only offensive players to have not missed a snap in the first four games.
• WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (calf) – Pederson said on Wednesday that he's optimistic about the second-year wide receiver's availability for Sunday.