Before the Eagles suit up for the preseason opener on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, head coach Doug Pederson met with the media on Tuesday to provide injury updates and share his thoughts on the game.
Sidelined due to injury on defense will be cornerback JaCorey Shepherd, defensive end Marcus Smith, defensive tackle Mike Martin, linebacker Mychal Kendricks and safety Malcolm Jenkins, while on offense running back Wendell Smallwood, wide receivers Hunter Sharp, Jordan Matthews and Marcus Johnson, and tackle Jason Peters will sit out. Pederson specified that although Peters will not play due to a quad injury, he will be in uniform and go through warmups to prepare for next week.
Pederson also addressed the injury status of Matthews, who suffered a left knee sprain during last Friday's practice after he was hit low by cornerback Jalen Mills.
"It looked bad on tape when I watched it on film and then what I initially thought out here on the field," the head coach said. "It's definitely one now that's day to day, so there's no structure damage in there which is definitely pleasing because on tape it looked like it could've been."
Pederson announced he doesn't plan on rushing Matthews back early, but would ideally like to have him return in time to suit up for the team's third preseason matchup against the Colts.
"He's showed so much out here already and what he's done in the spring, but at the same time if I can get them all healthy for that third preseason game you know that's the time you play your starters a little more than a quarter," Pederson said. "Obviously, you play them more in the third (game) so that would be the time frame that you would want on him."
Thursday's game will also be the Carson Wentz's long-awaited debut in front of the fans at Lincoln Financial Field. After Pederson indicated that Wentz would receive most of the snaps during the second half, he was pleased to discuss his rookie quarterback's approach toward his first NFL action. In fact, Pederson said Wentz wasn't overwhelmed in the slightest.
"Not at all, he's very comfortable where he's at," Pederson said. "He's getting better every day, I mentioned that the other day. I've seen a lot of young quarterbacks that come in and struggle mentally with the terminology and just the overall volume of offense that we have in at this time, but I haven't seen that from him at all. We haven't had any communication breakdowns in the huddle, so very pleased with where he's at mentally and now it's just a matter of continuing to detail his work and fine-tune some of the mechanics."
Wednesday night may be a sleepless one for Pederson as he attempts to have a successful coaching debut in Philadelphia. He's set for his team to showcase their hard work during the offseason and throughout Training Camp for the fans.
"I'm excited, I'm really looking forward to getting over there and the first one in (Lincoln Financial Field) and you know having the fans there and the opportunity to play against another opponent," Pederson said. "There's a lot of things that have to go on between now and then with planning and scheduling and sort of kind of detailing, even with the players kind of managing them. At the same time, I know personally it might be a restless night."