Eagles coach Doug Pederson updated the team’s injury situation Monday and said something that ought to cheer up fans frustrated with the team’s up-and-down running game: He acknowledged that the offense is trending toward giving Jordan Howard the bulk of the carries.
On the injury front, Pederson said cornerback Sidney Jones should be able to do more in practice this week and play next Sunday at Minnesota. Jones, who suffered a hamstring pull at Green Bay, was active against the Jets, but did not play. He seemed to be available only in case of emergency.
The Eagles played Rasul Douglas, newcomer Craig James, and the resurrected Orlando Scandrick against the Jets, and got away with it. They might not be so lucky this weekend, when Kirk Cousins is the opposing quarterback instead of Luke Falk.
Pederson said the team will push wideout DeSean Jackson’s rehab a bit this week and see how that goes, after he runs. “He’s getting close. Day-by-day. We’ll see here [Tuesday] and Wednesday and the next day, where he’s at,” Pederson said.
Jackson seems unlikely to play at Minnesota. Pederson denied that Jackson’s Week 2 abdominal injury is a sports hernia, or that surgery might be needed.
“It’s a strain, as far as I know. You might want to ask our doctors,” Pederson said. The Eagles medical staff is not allowed to speak with reporters.
Howard is the Eagles’ leading rusher, with 248 yards on 53 carries, 4.7 yards per carry. He was the team’s only consistently effective runner against the Jets, with 62 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.
Darren Sproles suffered a quad injury Sunday that Pederson said left the 36-year-old running back/returner “week-to-week.” Rookie Miles Sanders is more explosive but often doesn’t seem to be able to commit to hitting the hole; Sanders rushed nine times for just 15 yards against the Jets, and he is averaging just 3.6 yards per carry for the season, 193 yards on 54 attempts. Sanders did gain 36 receiving yards, the team’s longest gain of the day, on a wheel route.
“I think as we go, Jordan has been kind of the lead back the last couple of games, for sure. Miles is coming and learning,” Pederson said, after lauding Sanders’ contribution to the passing game.