Good morning, Eagles fans! The team will conduct its first full practice of the week today at the NovaCare Complex just after 1 p.m., which we will stream live, and players will answer questions in the locker room afterward. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz will speak to the media at 10:45 a.m., offensive coordinator Mike Groh will speak at 12:05 p.m, and quarterback Nick Foles will be at the podium later this afternoon. We will carry all three live as well. Here's what you need to know in today's Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft leading off with the scoreboard situation for Sunday.
1. Turning Off The Scoreboard
We all know the scenario for Sunday by now: the Eagles have to beat Washington and hope that the Bears down the Vikings in order to get in as the sixth seed. Eagles fans, obviously, will be watching both games if possible and constantly paying attention to the score at U.S. Bank Stadium. But the players, however, cannot afford to be distracted with what's going elsewhere.
In the locker room yesterday, players told Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro that they are focused on only what they can control – their own play on the field. No matter what the Vikings do, if the Eagles don't take of business this Sunday, they won't be moving on:
"I think the focus is just win. Control what we can control," linebacker Nigel Bradham said. "I think that'll take care of itself. You can't really go into a game worried about something else that you have no control over. I think we just have to focus on us. I'm not going to be worried about it so much. I gotta focus on my game."
Said defensive end Brandon Graham: "That would be a tragedy if you go out there worrying about another team and then you don't take care of what you're supposed to. We just can't get all caught up in it. Let everything take care of itself, but we have to take care of business on Sunday. What we're trying to do is just focus on winning this game."
2. A Different Plan At Wide Receiver
The Eagles had a great looking plan at wide receiver when the season began. With Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, and Mike Wallace leading the way, the receivers seemed to be the deepest position on the field
Injuries changed that. Jeffery missed time early, Hollins never suited up, and Wallace played nearly two games before breaking his leg and heading to the Injured Reserve list. The Eagles made a trade at the deadline and picked up Golden Tate from the Lions.
Wallace took the practice field in yesterday's walkthrough for the first time since September and was greeted at his locker after. Dave Spadaro caught up with him as he aims to make his return this week and broke down what exactly what's going on at the wide receiver position:
"We have so many weapons here and you have to understand that," Tate said. "We're winning and that's all that matters. We've got so much talent here and there's only one football, so you have to understand that. You're going to work your way into the offense each week. One week you might be a big part of the game plan and another week you might not be as involved. That's the nature of the offense. But the scheme is an excellent one and it's receiver-friendly. There are a lot of big plays in this offense every week."
3. Foles Flying
Nick Foles was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week yesterday.
After his record-setting performance of 471 passing yards while completing 71 percent of passes for four touchdowns, one interception, and a 120.4 quarterback rating, Foles secured the award for the third time in his career. It is the first time he's won it since his seven-touchdown game against the Oakland Raiders in 2013. Chris McPherson has more on just another clutch performance by Foles.
4. Injury Report
The Eagles held a walkthrough yesterday in their first team practice of the week and nine players were listed on the estimated injury report.
Linebacker D.J. Alexander (hamstring), defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (hip), center Jason Kelce (knee), and wide receiver Mike Wallace were limited.
Defensive end Michael Bennett (foot), safety Corey Graham (illness), cornerback Sidney Jones (hamstring), tackle Jason Peters (quadricep), guard Isaac Seumalo (pectoral), and quarterback Carson Wentz (back) did not participate in practice.
Left off the list were defensive tackle Tim Jernigan and linebacker Jordan Hicks who both returned to the field after extended absences on Saturday. In his Wednesday practice, Pederson said Hicks and Jernigan did well and will increase their intensity this week:
"It's hard to put a player – give him a full complement right away – because it's different than training and rehab," Pederson said about Hicks. "I thought he did what he – it's kind of like Tim Jernigan. What he was given, he did well, and now we can probably increase that load this week."
5. Doug Leading The Way
The Eagles have come a long way since their low point of the season in a 48-7 loss to the Saints in New Orleans. In just their past four games, they are 3-1 and have knocked off two teams in contention for a top seed in the NFC and AFC. The Eagles are playing their best football of the season now, and as Dave Spadaro writes, a lot of it has to do with Doug Pederson.
After a rocky beginning of the season that was plagued by injuries and frustrating losses, Pederson has kept the team together and turned a tough year into a playoff push. It may be a surprising to hear about what he accomplished last season, but this may be his finest coaching job yet:
"What you see in these kinds of situations is your leadership and how it steps up," Pederson said. "There's never been a question about the locker room. The guys support each other. They have a great amount of passion for the team. Everybody just kind of dug in after that game in New Orleans. That's given us a chance."
Check out the best photos featuring the offense from the Eagles' win over the Texans.
6. Roster Moves
The Eagles announced Wednesday that cornerback Chandon Sullivan has been brought back to the Eagles on the practice squad. The undrafted rookie cornerback who has started for the Eagles this season was waived on Tuesday with cornerback De'Vante Bausby when Mike Wallace and cornerback Josh Hawkins were put on the active roster.