Doug Pederson lightens the load for his players

Ed Benkin
September 18, 2019 - 3:39 pm
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson during the second quarter against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Wednesday is usually the more intense practice day for the Eagles — but not this Wednesday. The banged up birds were given a lighter load to deal with. 

Instead of a full practice, coach Doug Pederson elected to hold a walk-through. Several players such as DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Dallas Goedert and Corey Clement are listed as day-to-day, and may not be available for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions at the Linc.

Pederson wanted to give his injured players a chance to recover while working in their potential replacements. 

"It's just a couple things," said Pederson. "Number one, with the guys that are a little nicked up who have a chance to play in this football game, I want them to get the reps in practice. Normally we go a padded day. Then two, we have some young guys that might have to play, and they're also servicing the defense or the offense, and so this way it allows everybody to still practice and maintain their focus and get our work done that we need to get done today."

The schedule is another factor in Pederson's decision to change the Wednesday schedule.  

After the Detroit game on Sunday, the Eagles will have another game next Thursday night in Green Bay. The Thursday night game on the schedule is always difficult for teams around the league, especially for the road teams. 

Pederson knows he has to be cautious with two games over the next nine days.

"That's another reason to kind of pull back just a touch," Pederson said. "I want these guys as fresh as possible obviously for these next two weeks. I have to think of the big picture here, obviously, and keeping guys, it's early in our season, keeping guys as fresh as possible now so we can make a push later in the season, so that's also a factor in this decision."

Pederson was stuck in a difficult situation last week in Atlanta. 

With one player getting injured in warmups and two others getting hurt early in the game, Pederson lost three offensive skill players. The coaching staff was forced to adjust on the fly throughout the game.

This week, Pederson is preparing for all possible scenarios regarding his injured players. 

"We go as usual," said Pederson. "We game plan as usual. We understand that we could miss a player or two but at the same time, we can't focus on that. We have to get the next guy ready to go and we go in and coach that player up and get him prepared, but from a game-plan standpoint, we're playing a good football team in the Lions, and they're coming off a victory, and we have to be prepared."

It didn't take long to realize Pederson was not alone in his thinking.  

In the hours after Pederson's announcement about his practice change, the Packers and Colts also said they would switch to a walk-through. 

However, this is not the first time Pederson has made a practice adjustment due to injuries or Thursday Night Football.

"I've done this before," Pederson said. "Typically with a Thursday game the following week to adjust the schedule this way, to keep guys fresh and I've done it, too, later in the year. Obviously Week 3, to have a Thursday game Week 4, it's just a unique situation."