Good morning, Eagles fans! Carson Wentz resumed participation in 11-on-11 drills in Sunday's practice. Today, Wentz will speak to the media at 11:45 a.m. followed by offensive coordinator Mike Groh and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. We will carry all three of those press conferences live. Practice at the NovaCare Complex will begin at 1:30 p.m. Until then, here's the Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft for August 20.
1. 'The Sheriff Is Back In Town'
That's what offensive tackle Lane Johnson said after head coach Doug Pederson confirmed to reporters yesterday that quarterback Carson Wentz would be participating in 11-on-11 drills once again. The next step is being cleared for contact. Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro wrote about what his return means for the QB room and others in a position-by-position breakdown.
Pederson also provided updates on other injured Eagles as Chris McPherson wrote yesterday:
Tight end Richard Rodgers is "week to week" after suffering what the team called a knee injury on Thursday night. Running back Donnel Pumphrey will not practice nor will he play this week in Cleveland with a hamstring injury. Cornerback Jalen Mills will return to practice on a limited basis and only do individual drills. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor and running back Corey Clement are "day to day." Expect them to do more next week, said Pederson.
Tackle Jason Peters and running back Darren Sproles are "doing great." Pederson doesn't need to see them in the preseason.
"Practices are as hard if not harder than games," the head coach said.
2. Fresh Prince Of NovaCare
Newest Eagles wide receiver Darius Prince practiced with the team for the first time on Sunday. The MVP of ArenaBowl XXX with the Philadelphia Soul talked to me about his remarkable journey to the NFL:
The West Mifflin, Pennsylvania native had played only basketball for three years at Penn State - Greater Allegheny and one year at Penn State - Beaver and was unable to play professionally overseas after. So, he decided to pursue football, a sport he hadn't played since high school.
The plan was to start with an indoor football team and maybe one day catch the eye of the NFL. It was one that he even admitted was a long shot.
"I thought it was a little far-fetched to be honest," Prince said. "But I always told myself that at these workouts, you only need one person to like you and I always thought that if I had the opportunity to get in front of an NFL team, someone would take a chance on me. I never really had doubt but I felt like it was a little far-fetched."
The Eagles took that chance on Prince.
3. Lawlor: These Wins Will Help In The Standings Later
The Eagles dropped their first two preseason games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots. But as Tommy Lawlor explains in his newest column, the final score is not what matters at this time of year:
Preseason games mean different things to different teams.
Players are learning new schemes and systems if there is a new coach. Teams with big roster changes will use the preseason as a time for players to get used to each other, as well as sorting out roster battles. A veteran, established team like the Eagles has a different focus. They want to build depth by developing young players.
4. Wentz Is ESPN's Second-Most Aggressive QB In NFL
ESPN released an article on Monday highlighting, "The best and worst QBs at everything." Carson Wentz cracked the top-10 list for two of the "best" categories and ranked No. 2 behind Aaron Rodgers for "Most Aggressive."
Get a look at the guys that are making life hard for the pass catchers during training camp.
5. ESPN Says Sidney Jones Is Eagles' Breakout Player
On Sunday, ESPN also predicted one player from each NFL team that would have a breakout year. For the Eagles, ESPN's Tim McManus chose cornerback Sidney Jones who hopes to play his first full season in 2018:
"The second-round pick out of Washington missed all but one game of his rookie season as he recovered from a torn Achilles. Now back in action, he has flashed the athleticism and ability that made him one of the most coveted defensive backs in the 2016 NFL draft. The Eagles are experimenting with him in the slot. Wherever he ends up, they're expecting big things out of Jones."