PHILADELPHIA (AP) — With two games in five days coming up, the Philadelphia Eagles eased into preparations.
Coach Doug Pederson canceled practice Wednesday and the injury-plagued team held a walkthrough instead. Six players didn’t participate and six others were limited.
“I want these guys as fresh as possible obviously for these next two weeks,” Pederson said. “I have to think of the big picture here, obviously. 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.”
Wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, tight end Dallas Goedert, running back Corey Clement and defensive tackle Tim Jernigan were hurt in a 24-20 loss at Atlanta.
Quarterback Carson Wentz took a hard shot to the chest and was later checked for a concussion but he said he’s fine.
Jackson and Jeffery played only a few snaps against the Falcons before going to the sideline. Jackson has an abdominal strain and Jeffery has a calf strain. Goedert was ruled out before the game started because of a calf injury. Clement injured his shoulder on a kickoff return. Jernigan broke his foot and will be out for a while.
The Eagles (1-1) host the Detroit Lions (1-0-1) on Sunday. They visit the Packers (2-0) on Thursday night the following week.
“We understand that we could miss a player or two, but at the same time, we can’t focus on that,” Pederson said.
“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.”
Despite missing three of his top five receivers, Wentz rallied the Eagles from a 17-6 deficit and helped them take a 20-17 lead over the Falcons in the fourth quarter. After the defense allowed a go-ahead score, Wentz nearly gave Philadelphia the lead again with less than two minutes left but Nelson Agholor dropped a pass that would’ve gone for a 60-yard score.
“Nelly’s great. He’s the ultimate team guy,” Wentz said. “He’ll do whatever is asked of him. Obviously people look at the drop, but he made a lot of plays and helped choreograph the offense.”
Rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and third-year pro Mack Hollins will be counted on to replace Jackson and Jeffery. Hollins had five catches for 50 yards and Arcega-Whiteside only caught one ball for 4 yards.