When Carson Wentz takes the field against the New England Patriots, he’ll be without his top two wide receivers.
Alshon Jeffery will miss Sunday’s game with an ankle injury that’s held him out of practice all week. The 29-year-old receiver suffered the injury late against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 3.
Pederson said Jeffery was “day-to-day” earlier this week, but the receiver has been battling injury the entire season. He missed most of the team’s Week 2 loss to the Atlanta Falcons with a bad calf that held him out the following week against the Detroit Lions.
With wide receiver DeSean Jackson on injured reserve and Jeffery sidelined, the Eagles will likely lean heavily on Nelson Agholor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, and Jordan Matthews. The Eagles brought Matthews back for the third time earlier this week to fill Jackson’s roster spot.
Arcega-Whiteside spent the beginning of the season serving primarily as Jeffery’s backup. Against the Patriots, the rookie out of Stanford figures to have the biggest role he’s had since Jeffery went down earlier this season. In the two games he played significant snaps in, he caught two passes for 14 yards.
"I may have a big role, I may have a small role,” Arcega-Whiteside said after Thursday’s practice. “Regardless, I’m treating it as if I’m going to be the No. 1 like I do every week.”
Pederson praised Arcega-Whiteside for his week of practice.
“He’s put in a good week’s work,” Pederson said. “He’s always done that. He’s always practiced well, but he’s been behind Alshon. If his load increases this week, we expect him to go in and play well. That’s why we drafted him and that’s why he’s here.”
Darren Sproles (torn hip flexor) and Nigel Bradham (ankle) have also been ruled out ahead of Sunday’s 4:25 kickoff.
Rodney McLeod was limited in practice with a shoulder injury, but is expected to play.
Jason Peters was a full participant in Friday’s practice and is also expected to be ready to go against the Patriots. The 37-year-old left tackle had arthroscopic surgery performed on his knee earlier this season, but returned to practice this week.
Pederson said that Peters’ starting left tackle job would be waiting for him once he returned, despite rookie Andre Dillard playing well during Peters’ absence.
“I’ve been really impressed with Andre,” Pederson said on Nov. 4. “Gosh, he had another good game [Sunday]; with those two pass rushers, Khalil and [Bears edge rusher Leonard] Floyd, he played well. I do think, when JP is healthy and comes back, I still think it’s JP’s position moving forward.”