The Eagles and Baltimore Ravens will conduct two days of joint practices at the NovaCare Complex on Monday and Tuesday.
The players typically look forward to joint practices, which provide a refreshing change after practicing against each other for the previous three weeks.
“They create a highly competitive environment,’’ safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “I’m always leery that with that competitiveness comes the risk of injury. That part of it I could do without. But the opportunity to be able to get a different look from a different team is good for everybody.’’
From a defensive perspective, Jenkins said one of the things he’s looking forward to practicing against the Ravens’ offense is their frequent use of two-running back sets.
“Our offense doesn’t use two-back sets,’’ he said. “But you turn on the tape of these guys and they use them a lot. Very old-school, pro-formation looks that we rarely see from our offense in practice. So it’ll be helpful to practice against that now so that when we see it down the road, we’ll be prepared.’’
Tight end Zach Ertz said he’s looking forward to playing against a defense that doesn’t know him quite as well as his own defense.
“(Our defense) knows my (route) stems, they know my moves,’’ he said. “It’ll be good to go against a new defense and test yourself and get out of your comfort zone.
“Especially going against the Ravens defense. They could be one of the top five defenses in the league this year. So it’s going to be a battle for us. Particularly in the run game.’’
The Ravens also play a lot of three-man defensive fronts, which is something the Eagles will see in Week 1 when they play the Redskins.
“We’ve been going against the same (4-3 defensive) scheme all camp,’’ Ertz said. “Going against a different front, you have to make completely different calls. It’ll be good for us. Get us ready.’’
Because their starters will be playing a lot in the joint practices, don’t look for many of them, including quarterback Carson Wentz, to play much in Thursday night’s preseason game at the Linc against the Ravens.
Although, Pederson said Sunday that the joint practices would have no impact on who will play Thursday. “It doesn’t affect that one way or the other,’’ he insisted.
Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks, who is recovering from a torn Achilles suffered in the Eagles’ January playoff loss to New Orleans, still is hopeful he’ll be cleared to play in the season opener against the Redskins. Brooks said Sunday that he thinks he might be able to start participating in full team work in another week or so.
“He still hasn’t been officially cleared yet to work in any team stuff,’’ Pederson said. “We’re just going to progress him like we’ve done with all our guys.’’
Two of the Eagles’ top defensive players – All-Pro defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and linebacker Nigel Bradham – also have yet to participate in any team work. Cox had surgery to repair a foot injury suffered in the Saints game. Bradham tore ligaments in his big toe in the Saints game.
Cox said last week that he was very close to returning.