Good morning, Eagles fans! Today will be the first full practice of the week ahead of Monday night's battle with Washington. Head coach Doug Pederson will speak with with the media at 10:30 a.m. and Carson Wentz will speak at 12:05 p.m. We will carry both of those live. Here's what you need to know in today's Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft leading off with some news on the injury front.
1. LB Nigel Bradham Breaks His Thumb
Linebacker Nigel Bradham entered the locker room with a cast around his right hand yesterday and told reporters he broke his thumb in three places early in Sunday's victory. He played through the pain before having surgery on Monday. Bradham assured reporters that the injury is one he can play through and he will decide this week in practice if he wants to wear a club on his hand. He expects to play Monday against Washington:
"One of the players came across, hit my thumb, and basically just broke it in three places," Bradham said. "I knew it was bad … I just felt like it was something I could keep playing with, so I stayed out there."
2. A Win Streak Starts Up Front
On Monday, the Eagles play another must-win game in their fight to capture the NFC East. To win that game, it starts up front. Washington boasts one of the best defensive fronts in the league when it comes to getting after the quarterback and stopping the run. The key difference in the second half of last week's win was the offense's ability to pound the ball on the ground led by dominance up front. Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro writes that the offensive line will have to lead the way against Washington and in all games down the final stretch:
"The thing about offensive football is that there is so much timing required and so much precision that if one player is off, the play can backfire on you," offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland said. "I think we're playing good football. I think we're making the right kind of progress."
3. Eagle Eye: D-Line Domination
After a difficult first half, the Eagles stormed back on Sunday to turn a 19-3 deficit into a 25-22 win. One of the most obvious changes after halftime was the play of the defensive line. Against a dynamic running back and experienced quarterback, the front seven created constant pressure and stymied a weapon-filled offense that had its way in the first two quarters.
Michael Bennett and Chris Long picked up sacks and Fletcher Cox had three quarterback hits. But a huge benefit to the defense that wasn't as obvious was the return of defensive tackle Tim Jernigan. Fran Duffy broke down the tape of what worked for the defense, especially up front, that led with the massive win:
Jernigan's impact may not have been felt on the stat sheet, but it's really hard to quantify what he brings to this team when he's on the field. A tone-setter who brings a level of toughness and swagger to the entire unit, Jernigan was in Barkley's face after the first two plays of the game. When Jernigan, all 295 pounds of him, shows up in your face flashing those gold teeth letting you know that he's going to be there all game long, it can be a bit intimidating. Players in the locker room last week unanimously talked about how important his presence was on the field, and that mentality showed up on film from the very first play.
4. Flex On 'Em
Safety Malcolm Jenkins walked the walk on Sunday as he showed up and turned the game around on defense. His interception at the end of the first half was a massive momentum swing and his ability to fill in the holes in the secondary kept the Giants from taking advantage of injuries in the second half. For his extraordinary effort, Jenkins was awarded a spot on Pro Football Focus' Team of the Week as the FLEX defensive player with an overall grade of 92.8:
Jenkins' versatility means that you will find him lined up as a deep safety, close to the line of scrimmage, and in the slot. Targeted four times in the Eagles win over the Giants, Jenkins allowed an NFL passer rating of just 16.7, coming away with a key interception late in the first half, and adding a forced fumble too.