The players will enjoy a much-needed break until Tuesday having played two games in five days. Doug Pederson is on his first four-game win streak as a head coach and a 3-1 road record to start the season. The players are a bit battered at this point but it is the first time since 1949 that the Eagles are 5-1 after playing four of their first six games on the road.
On Friday afternoon, Pederson met with the media to provide updates on both linebacker Jordan Hicks (ankle) and safety Chris Maragos (knee) who both went down in Thursday night’s win over the Panthers.
Hicks is OK and Pederson expects him to be available for practice next week. He commended the play of linebackers Mychal Kendricks and Nigel Bradham, who led the team in tackles with 17 and 10, respectively, in Hicks’ absence. The severity of Maragos’ knee injury is still unknown and the team will need to have a few more tests done before providing a full evaluation.
The trend this year with Pederson is that he has no intention of rushing his guys back given the long haul of the season.
Running back Wendell Smallwood missed his second straight game with a knee injury. He traveled with the team to Carolina and will be re-evaluated Monday. Pederson anticipates him to participate in a limited role next week in practice and his eligibility will be a game-time decision.
Cornerback Ronald Darby is nearing his expected recovery timeline from his ankle injury back in Week 1 against Washington. Pederson declined to announce whether he would begin to practice at any capacity Tuesday and will not rush his return either.
The weekend will certainly do the players some good and allow them to heal. Pederson wants his players to enjoy the time with their families but make sure they’re focused when they return to NovaCare Complex next Tuesday.
“The players are going to read and they’re going to listen to all the media outlets on TV and just hear how people are talking about them and saying how good and how great they are. But you’ve got to keep it real too. And that comes from me,” Pederson said during Monday’s press conference.
“We’re winning these games but there’s a lot to fix a lot to correct as well. It’s never perfect obviously. Bottom line is we want to win the game but at the same time, I’ve got to keep them focused and grounded. Even some of the situational stuff still. We’ve got to eliminate the big play on defense. Got to get better in the red zone on offense. Keep working in those areas. We weren’t as good on third downs last night so we have to keep working that and so just keeping them focused and detailed on those specific areas.”