Good morning, Eagles fans! Today the Birds take flight and head to London for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. The Eagles will practice at the NovaCare Complex today and speak with the media in the locker room after. This evening, they will head to London. Here's what you need to know in today's Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft leading off with how you can keep up with the Eagles in London.
1. Regal Eagle
While the Eagles are in London, stay up to date with all of our London content by visiting MoreAlikeThankYouThink.co.uk. The website includes videos, photo galleries, social posts, and more for the Eagles' visit abroad.
2. Barnett Out For Season
Head Coach Doug Pederson announced in his press conference yesterday that defensive end Derek Barnett had surgery on his shoulder and will miss the remainder of the 2018 season. It's a setback for the second-year starter and another injury on a laundry list for the Eagles. But Pederson believes his team will be fine and that this won't slow down Barnett's progression:
"I went on the IR in 2004 and it's no fun," Pederson said. "It's no fun because now you feel like you can't contribute. He's a tremendous player, he's going to bounce back from this and be better than ever, obviously. You know, it's disappointing, any athlete would be disappointed with a situation like this."
3. Sweat Steps In
With Barnett out, the Eagles will now turn to rookie defensive end Josh Sweat to fill the void. The 6-5, 251-pound Florida State alum was drafted in the fourth round (130th overall) this season and has impressed on the scout team in practice. Sweat was active for three games so far but played just 15 snaps and had a tackle. He's ready to increase his role and step up for his team:
"I've been eager to play, obviously, but like I said, I've just been staying ready," Sweat said. "I get quite a bit of reps at practice. I've been on scout team, so I get to play against the ones a lot so it's not that bad, I've been ready the whole time."
"He's explosive, he's long, he's athletic," said defensive line coach Chris Wilson last Thursday. "And the learning curve, he learns well. That's the one thing that I noticed, that he has the ability to process things for a young guy. For a lot of young guys, it takes some time to really understand but our vets have done a good job bringing him in and they see that he can add to us."
4. Injury Report
The Eagles are beginning to gain back some players who have missed time recently. Defensive tackle Haloti Nagata, who missed the last three games with a calf injury, was limited in practice yesterday along with four other Eagles. Seven Eagles players, including Barnett, did not practice. For the Jaguars, second-year stud running back Leonard Fournette, who has played in just two games this season with a hamstring injury, missed practice yesterday. Chris McPherson has the full injury report for both teams ahead of Sunday's game.
5. Ajayi Optimistic
In London yesterday, running back Jay Ajayi, sidelined for the season with a torn ACL, met with the media at an exhibition at the Museum of London. While the London native had planned to have an exciting homecoming game this weekend, he will instead be on the sideline in a knee brace. Ajayi spoke to reporters in front of an exhibition dedicated to his accomplishments featuring his Eagles gear and Super Bowl photos. Eagles' Insider Dave Spadaro writes that Ajayi is sure he will come back stronger from this setback:
"What's done is done. After that, it's about what's next? How can I make the best out of it? I can only control what I can control and keep pushing forward," Ajayi said. "The ACL tear was clean and that's a good thing. I'll be heading out to California after this game to really get into my rehab. I know I'm going to come back stronger and better. I'm optimistic about that.
"In the meantime, I'm going to be the best teammate I can be. I know this team can still accomplish the goals we talked about in the spring."
6. England's Best Philly Writer
Liam Jenkins was a typical 14-year-old British kid who didn't care about American sports when he was given an Xbox for his birthday with Madden 08. After starting the game and randomly selecting the Eagles as his team, Jenkins began a love affair with the Eagles and Philadelphia sports that led to the creation of his blog Philly Sports Network. Jenkins has run the website from England for four years, growing it with a team of nearly 20 other writers. He has never let the distance between him and his Eagles, a distance greatly shortened this weekend, stop him from his dedicated football coverage:
"I thought, you know what, it would be amazing to combine the passion I have for media and journalism with my love for the Eagles," Jenkins said. "And I couldn't just come to America and be like, 'Hey, I'm going to talk about the Birds for a few years,' because it wouldn't go down well. So, I thought I'd make a website and if it goes well it's a potential career and if not then I'm having fun doing it."