The Eagles were back on the practice field at the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday despite the light shower in South Philadelphia.
I got through the temperature checkpoint with a 97.7 today.
After two days in pads, Doug Pederson took his foot off the gas. The Eagles basically had a walkthrough on Wednesday morning. Players were wearing shorts and no helmets. Pederson said last week that he anticipates 8 or 9 padded practices overall.
Without competitive periods, the observations don't include great plays, but we did learn plenty.
Let's get to today's observations:
Today's #Eagles injury report:— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) August 19, 2020
Dallas Goedert (upper body) day to day
Sidney Jones (lower body) day to day
Boston Scott (lower body) day to day
Miles Sanders (lower body) week to week
Fletcher Cox planned maintenance day
Obviously, the inclusion of Sanders on this list is worrisome. He's a huge part of the Eagles' offense and that week-to-week designation is troubling considering the season is less than a month away.
But early word is that the Eagles are simply being overly cautious with Sanders and some of these other guys. They don't expect these injuries to linger into the season.
2. Without some of those aforementioned players, there were changes to the offensive depth chart today. Here are some notes:
• Since today was really light, we saw Jason Peters take reps at right guard for the first time in team drills. He's coming back from a minor injury so he's being eased back into action as he switches position. But today was the first time we saw the entire OL together: Andre Dillard, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Jason Peters, Lane Johnson.
• And J.J. Arcega-Whiteside also got some first-team reps. He is easing back in from an injury and hasn't done team stuff. Tells you he's still in the mix for a starting job.
3. And here are some depth chart updates on defense:
• Avonte Maddox was CB2 with the first-team defense for the third-straight day since we've been able to watch. Without Sidney Jones, Craig James bumped up and played opposite Rasul Douglas with the second team.
4. Jalen Reagor continues to get extensive work as a punt returner. It looks like he may get the first crack at that job. The other two who returned punts were Greg Ward and DeSean Jackson, in that order. DeSean might be used in crucial situations.
Reagor has looked OK as a returner but muffed another one today in the rain. He muffed a couple the other day. But as he pointed out, that's a few out of many, many returns.
And it's something he enjoys doing.
"To me, it's fun to catch the ball and make someone look foolish," Reagor said Tuesday. "It really just kind of reminds me of growing up, playing throw up, tackle. It's you catching the ball and then it's now you vs. everybody."
5. While there aren't great plays to highlight from today's practice because of its light nature, Reagor's athleticism was still able to pop. He leaped up really high in the air to snag a Carson Wentz pass in the end zone.
While Reagor's speed numbers at the combine left much to be desired, his jumps were incredible. His vertical was 42 inches (97th percentile among WRs) and his broad jump was 138 inches (98th percentile among WRs).
6. I noticed Nickell Robey-Coleman and Cre'Von LeBlanc splitting reps at outside cornerback with the third-team defense. It makes a ton of sense for the Eagles to get their nickel corners prepared to play outside. Darius Slay will follow top receivers this year, which means he'll sometimes line up in the slot. When that happens, those nickels need to be able to switch off and play outside.
7. Linebacker Nathan Gerry is the Eagles' emergency long-snapper. We saw him snap off a few beauties during warmups. But then in the actual drills, he rolled one to Cameron Johnston and had another one fly just below his knees. Hopefully, Rick Lovato never gets hurt, but we now know that contingency plan.
(Also, Will Parks decided to try it out and, even though he loves being versatile, I wouldn't anticipate him stealing that role. It didn't go well.)
8. By the way, Johnston has one heck of a right leg. He was absolutely booming some of his punts. There's no question that he can punt footballs deep with the best of them and he's gotten better at directional punts. Of the Eagles' three specialists, Johnston is the only one without a long-term deal - 2020 is his final year under contract.
If the Eagles get him signed, he has a real chance to be the best punter in franchise history.
9. Since players weren't wearing helmets, many elected to wear the same blue surgical masks coaches and reporters have been wearing. Guys like Wentz, Clement, Ertz, Arcega-Whiteside, Josh Sweat, Rasul Douglas, T.J. Edwards and many more wore them.
10. Maybe Parks won't take over as a long snapper, but Jim Schwartz clearly has a role in mind for the free agent acquisition this season. Parks has been playing several positions. He's been the third safety in the dime package and has even gotten some time as the nickel corner. I'd imagine the Eagles might like him to match up against certain guys in the slot throughout the year. They'll probably play matchups week to week.
Stupid Observation of the Day: Wentz was one of several players to wear a bucket hat; his was black. Strong move from the franchise quarterback as the other QBs wore black baseball caps.
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