With the Philadelphia Eagles kicking off OTAs on Tuesday, take a look at what’s going on around the Nova Care Complex.
We’re heading into the home stretch of spring as summer is around the corner. With summertime, comes NFL training camp, which means that football season will be approaching sooner than we know it. Although it feels like the season just ended a week ago, the Philadelphia Eagles are already back in midnight green and out on the field at Nova Care Complex training.
While this portion of the offseason is strictly voluntary for everybody, a majority of the team is set to be in attendance. Before practice officially started on Tuesday, Eagles’ head coach Doug Pederson met with the media and discussed some of the big questions going around over the last month or so. Shortly after, the Eagles took the field and got started on practicing. Here, we will take a look at what’s going on at the Nova Care Complex according to the insiders.
Doug Pederson offers up some quick injury updates
We learned on Monday afternoon that Eagles’ quarterback Carson Wentz wasn’t going to be limited in this year’s OTAs portion. That’s a major step forward in the right direction for the franchise quarterback. As for other injured starters, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Brooks, and Nigel Bradham are all rehabbing from their injuries. Cox expects to be back by training camp, Brooks wants to be ready by week one, and Bradham, well, his situation is one big mystery.
Don’t expect answers regarding Malcolm Jenkins
Is Malcolm Jenkins’ absence all that concerning? After all, OTAs are voluntary, right? Well, here’s the thing – Malcolm Jenkins rarely misses time. He’s played for the Eagles since 2014 and hasn’t missed a game. Before, voluntary OTAs was a must-show for Jenkins. This year, that suddenly changed as the safety market’s contract visibly inflated. It could be all one big coincidence and Jenkins could just be taking an extended vacation. But regardless of what the case is, Doug Pederson won’t reveal anything that is going on behind closed doors.
The return of the fallen
The Eagles were one of the most injured teams in football last year. Every week it was something new. A starter gets injured, then their replacement gets wounded, and the next thing you know, we’ve got practice squadders out there playing first-string ball for the reigning Super Bowl champions. Fortunately, the Eagles get to wipe the slate clean for the most part.
Corey Clement, Rodney McLeod, and Ronald Darby all suffered season-ending injuries last year. Now they are back on the field practicing. In addition to those guys, cornerback Sidney Jones is also out there as well looking healthy after dealing with some severe hamstring complications.
Carson Wentz threw his first of many passes to DeSean Jackson
We can get used to this for sure. Doug Pederson praised DeSean Jackson for being a full participant throughout the entire offseason so far. Almost every day, the veteran wideout has been at the Nova Care Complex putting in work. The situation isn’t any different for voluntary OTAs either. Jackson was strapped up and ready to go and finally got some live drills in with Wentz.
Although that first pass wasn’t the deep ball we’ve been waiting for, it’s still a pretty sight. And by the way, did you notice anything different about Carson Wentz? Take a look at his knee – no additional equipment on there. Yes, the knee brace has been taken off at this point. Good news.
Big V exploring new opportunities?
As we know, Brandon Brooks is out and could be for quite some time. Before re-signing Stefen Wisniewski, it was unclear who was going to play at right guard — knowing that Andre Dillard, the first round pick, will eventually step in as Jason Peters’ replacement, that left Halapoulivaati Vatai without an identity on the offense. So with that, he could get an opportunity to play another position to maximize his potential. It started in OTAs as he took reps at guard.
Who stood out so far?
Charles Johnson, a veteran wideout who made some noise when the Eagles signed him after his stint with the now extinct AAF, apparently had himself a day. Second-year veteran tight end Dallas Goedert was literally everywhere. Once again, the young tight end established himself as a touchdown machine. It sure seems like Goedert is poised for a breakout year.
In terms of the secondary, Mills and Darby weren’t available. But Jones and Avonte Maddox were and they had themselves a solid first day. Maddox spent his time in the nickel once again, and his experience is standing out. As for Jones, he’s getting an opportunity to practice on the outside, and it seems like he is feeling really good since he shaked his hamstring troubles.