As the Eagles begin their practice week for Sunday night’s game against the visiting Dallas Cowboys, they expect to welcome back some injured regulars. It isn’t clear exactly who among them will be ready to play Sunday, in the team’s final game before its bye week.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday that Jason Peters, who has missed four games with a toe injury, will practice. Pederson did not indicate whether Peters will return to left tackle, where Jordan Mailata has done a good job filling in, or if Peters would practice at guard, which has been a bigger problem.
Peters was signed over the summer to play right guard after Brandon Brooks' Achilles injury, but he moved back to his familiar left-tackle spot when Andre Dillard suffered a biceps tear. Peters was struggling at tackle before he went on injured reserve Oct. 3. At 38, he might be a better fit at guard. And in the long run, the Eagles might benefit more from giving Mailata more reps at tackle.
“He definitely can help us at left tackle,” Pederson said of Peters. “And he’s had the right-guard experience. Basically just need to see him moving around today and tomorrow, and see where he can best help us.”
Nate Herbig has played well on the left or right side, but the other guard spot has been a problem; Matt Pryor hasn’t been good, and Jamon Brown and Sua Opeta were awful in one-game cameos.
Right tackle Lane Johnson, battling knee and ankle injuries, is “day-to-day,” Pederson said. Asked if it might be good to sit Johnson this week and let him heal further during the bye, Pederson said: “If Lane Johnson wants to play, I’m not gonna stand in his way.”
As Wednesday’s practice began, the Eagles had Peters at left tackle, and with Johnson not practicing, Mailata was working at right tackle. Of course, this doesn’t mean Johnson isn’t playing Sunday, or that they will stick with the Wednesday alignment. But when Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz spoke with reporters before practice, he seemed to expect Peters would be his left tackle.
Pederson also listed running back Miles Sanders (knee) and defensive tackle Malik Jackson (quad) as day-to-day, which, given the Eagles' track record, could mean almost anything. He said first-round rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor will practice, as will tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle), though he indicated Goedert might be limited.
Pederson said rookie right tackle Jack Driscoll (ankle) is close to getting back on the field.
There has been intrigue around the status of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who has been kept on the 53-man roster all season and has been practicing on a limited basis for several weeks. Pederson confirmed that Jeffery’s foot injury, which required surgery last December, is healed, but he said Jeffery suffered a calf injury in practice and is being held back by that. Pederson said Jeffery is day-to-day.