Doug Pederson ponders preseason possibilities

Ed Benkin
August 20, 2019 - 9:49 pm
Aug 15, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Clayton Thorson (8) hands the ball off to running back Josh Adams (33) for a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the third quarter at TIAA Bank Field.

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — To play or not to play?

That is a question which has become an annual August debate in the National Football League. With playing time for teams' top players decreasing, there is a chance few, if any, will take the field during the four preseason games.  

That includes the Eagles, who will play the Ravens in their third preseason game of the summer on Thursday. 

One would understand if Doug Pederson would choose to sit Carson Wentz and the rest of his key contributors, especially after a pair of joint workouts with the Ravens this week.  

Pederson understands there may be more of an emphasis on the joint practices in the future.

"I think that's where we're going," said Pederson. "I think that's the way the league is heading. I like it. I think the players like it. It does break up hitting your same teammates for so long, but the thing is about practice, and really a joint practice, as coaches, we get to set the situations. We get to control the environment and sometimes you don't get those in games. You don't get that situation in a game and this way, we can control that and work on specific things and get some really good work done with our starters."

One of the players who benefited from the joint practices is Carson Wentz.  

The quarterback may once again be a spectator on Thursday night, especially after seeing two other Eagles quarterbacks get injured in preseason play. For Wentz, he again has complete trust in Pederson as far as what the coach decides about preseason playing time.

"I feel good either way," Wentz said. "I feel that, especially this week with the Ravens here, it's really good work. Whether I'm out there in a live situation or not, I feel that I am ready for Week One and whatever coach decides, I'll be ready for."

Some veterans have made it clear they would be happy to sit out all four preseason games. Others say they want to get onto the field for live game action and are not afraid of the possibility of an injury.  
Mark offensive tackle Jason Peters down as one of the players who would be happy to get onto the field on Thursday night.

"It's a process," said Peters. "You really need the camp and the preseason games to see where you are at and get all the rust off before the season, but I like the preseason to get all the rust off of you."

One of the reasons Wentz may not play is to avoid the possibility of a season-ending injury before the season even starts. For the other quarterbacks on the Eagles roster, Thursday is a chance to possibly get in their only game action of 2019.  

Josh McCown joined the Eagles on Saturday and is quickly getting up to speed with the offense, and McCown would love to be ready for Thursday night's game.

"I'm getting there," McCown said. "I obviously haven't played in a long time. Some things come back a little quicker, but it's still just getting acclimated to the timing of different guys. It's throwing to these guys and getting to know everybody. That's the main thing right now."