With Philadelphia still abuzz about what to do with Nelson Agholor, the struggling Eagles wide receiver has been around teammates in recent days. He went to Carson Wentz's home for dinner Monday, and he went to a Bible study at Chase Daniel's home with his girlfriend on Tuesday.
On Wednesday morning, Agholor was back on the practice field. There is still no indication of whether he will even play Monday against the Green Bay Packers, but coach Doug Pederson said it's a "real possibility" that Agholor could be active with a reduced role.
"This will be a big week for him," Pederson said. "How he handles it mentally, how he reacts with his teammate and how he reacts on the practice field with the things that have sort of fallen in his lap. It's just about how well he responds and if he can handle a little adversity in his career."
Agholor did not speak to reporters Wednesday.
Pederson and Agholor spoke about the receiver's state of mind; the coach wants Agholor to prepare to play the Packers. Pederson is still waiting to see how Agholor practices before making a determination about his status.
If Agholor has a reduced role or does not play, there will be more playing time for Dorial Green-Beckham, Bryce Treggs, and potentially Paul Turner behind Jordan Matthews.
"DGB has played the most, and Treggs is getting a little more work each week," Pederson said. "We'll continue to increase his workload. I think he's in a position to contribute more in these next six games."
Green-Beckham, who had five catches for 54 yards and a touchdown against Seattle, would likely be the biggest beneficiary. He has 57 percent of the offensive snaps this season, and he took 80 percent against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Green-Beckham is well beyond his early-season transition, when he was in for fewer than 50 percent of the plays while learning the offense.
"I know what I'm doing and I'm making plays," Green-Beckham said, "and I'm actually getting the time out on the field playing."
Still, he needs to be more consistent. Before Sunday, he had two games without a reception. Pederson said Green-Beckham was still learning the system and wanted him to stay with Wentz after practice to work on routes.
"He's still learning how to run routes," Pederson said. "We're teaching him every day."
Treggs was held without a catch during the last two weeks after an impressive debut on Nov. 6, when he had two catches for 69 yards. His playing time percentage also decreased in each game, but the Eagles could need him Monday. The Packers are susceptible to the deep ball - they have allowed nine catches of 40-plus yards this season, which is tied for fifth most in the NFL. The Eagles have only four 40-plus-yards catches this season, with Treggs' 58-yarder the most recent. His deep speed is the best skill he provides.
"I think every week it's an asset," Treggs said. "It's just a matter of if it's opening up. . . . When people look at the tape [of Green Bay], they look at it deep and say they've allowed this amount of passing yards. But every week is different, and they can show up and make their corrections and be a great defense."
Then there's Turner, who was a preseason standout with 17 catches for 165 yards in four games. He made the Eagles' initial 53-man roster before he was waived to make room for Treggs, and he did not receive a promotion until this week. Turner's value comes in the slot, so if he's active, Matthews could move outside to give the defense a different look.
Turner has not been told whether he will be active Sunday, but he said he's a better receiver now than he was in the preseason. One area he has improved is in how he rounds his routes to avoid contact, which is important for a player who is only 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds.
"I knew eventually the opportunity would come, I just didn't know when," Turner said. "Nothing was ever said, but I probably needed to develop a little more. . . . I knew I needed to work on things myself. It was just an opportunity to get better."
Treggs and Turner are undrafted rookies, and Agholor was a first-round pick. The Eagles are best if they can get Agholor out of his mental funk and receive production from him. The Packers defense offers an inviting opportunity, but Pederson can take advantage only if Agholor's mind is right. Week 12 is too late for experimentation. Pederson said Agholor has seen a sports psychologist, and he wants Agholor to forget the external pressure.
Matthews does not think Agholor's problem is the negative feedback from fans and media. Rather, it's frustration from his not seeing results despite diligent work. Still, his struggles have been the biggest sports story in Philadelphia this week - and the intrigue will continue until Monday.
"I don't want to sugarcoat anything: It's a hard place to play receiver," Matthews said. "When we make mistakes, we don't make mistakes in the trenches, where it takes six games to figure out. It's like wide open and nobody else but us, the ball, and Jesus. Everybody's going to know you made that mistake.
"But what are the cold facts - are you playing well or are you not? If you're not playing well and [the media are] on top of somebody, then it's like, 'OK, now they're telling the truth and I'm internalizing it because I haven't been playing well. . . . I don't think the media or the outside stuff is what's literally made him as upset as he is. I think he just feels like he's worked his butt off and hasn't seen the fruits of his labor yet."
Running backs Ryan Mathews (knee) and Darren Sproles (rib) did not practice. Sproles is more likely to play than Mathews, although both have a chance. Pederson said Sproles was "doing much better" in his recovery from a broken rib. . . . Defensive end Connor Barwin did not practice because of a bone bruise on his right knee, but he's expected to play Monday. . . . Cornerback Leodis McKelvin remained in the concussion protocol, so he must wait until he's cleared by an independent neurologist to return to practice. . . . Right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai did not practice because a knee injury and is not expected to play this week.