It’s sounding more and more like Jason Peters will supplant Jordan Mailata as the Eagles' starting left tackle Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson said the 38-year-old offensive lineman has looked good all week in practice after returning from a foot injury. Peters missed four games with the injury, making way for Mailata, who had promising performances and made the case to keep the job even once Peters was healthy.
“He looks good. He feels good," Pederson said of Peters. "He’s held up well and done a nice job out there. As far as the terminology, nothing’s really changed from that standpoint — he’s picked that up. I thought he’s had a good week of preparation so far.”
Mailata was far from perfect in his four games, but as much could be expected considering he’d never started a football game at any level before being thrust into the lineup against San Francisco in Week 4. It’s also worth noting that Peters struggled before his injury.
The team originally signed Peters to play right guard, but moved him to left tackle along with a pay raise once Andre Dillard suffered a season-ending biceps injury during training camp.
Pederson said Mailata could benefit from a possible benching, comparing his situation to Nelson Agholor’s a few years ago.
“We’re going to make the best decision for the football team moving forward," Pederson said. "Jordan has played well, and sometimes, I’ll say this, I go back to [benching] Nelson Agholor a few years ago and an opportunity for him to kind of see, big-picture, himself. ... I love where Jordan’s at, I love where his growth is, right, but at the same time, if Jason Peters starts at left tackle, it allows Jordan to see big-picture as well and kind of step back and observe that way. Sometimes that helps young players, too.”
Pederson didn’t commit to game statuses for players such as Jalen Reagor, Dallas Goedert, Malik Jackson, and T.J. Edwards, saying each player will have to get through Friday’s practice before decisions are made.
“They’ve all practiced this week. They’ve all had a good week of preparation so far," he said. "We gotta get through today and make sure there’s no setbacks today out at practice and we still wanna push them and make sure that they can handle the strains of a game. Once we get through today, we’ll have a better picture and a better sense of who will be available Sunday.”