Jordan Matthews said he would "for sure" be back by the regular season. The Eagles' top wide receiver has missed both preseason games because of a bone bruise on his left knee.

Coach Doug Pederson said that Matthews was day to day and the that Eagles would love for him to play Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts, but the team is not going to rush him. Matthews did not know whether he would play in that game. Pederson said that if the third-year receiver doesn't play Saturday, he will not return until the regular season opener.

Matthews said the last two preseason games are the first games he has ever missed - from youth football through the NFL. The injury occurred when he was hit by cornerback Jalen Mills.

"It ended up not being as bad as it could have been," Matthews said.

Matthews did not have a problem with the hit, and told Mills not to worry about it. He knows it was a live period and Mills was playing as coached.

"Being upset is not going to get my knee any better," Matthews said.

The wide receiver corps has struggled in Matthews' absence. Matthews argued that he has seen improvement, and cautioned against overreaction in the preseason. He said one of the benefits of his injury has been more playing time for undrafted rookie Paul Turner, who has impressed Matthews and the coaching staff.

Matthews also liked the addition of Dorial Green-Beckham, whom Matthews worked out with in Arizona. Matthews said he calls the 6-foot-5, 237-pound receiver "LeBron James" because of his imposing figure, and he thinks Green-Beckham will benefit from the Eagles' culture.

Matthews remains a fixture in meetings and in the locker room. If he doesn't end up playing in the preseason, Matthews said, practices before the Sept. 11 opener should make up for lost time.

"I've played enough football to where I know obviously I can do that," Matthews said. "Is it ever ideal? No. Especially for me, I like to get reps, I like to go out there and practice. But for me, all the reps are the same whether I'm in preseason, whether I come back and practice Week 1, whether I practice the Jets week [the final week of the preseason], whatever it may be."

Hope for Wentz

Carson Wentz was not in a helmet at the beginning of practice Saturday, although he took some snaps during warm-ups and threw on the side while the team stretched. Pederson still hopes Wentz, who suffered a rib fracture in the preseason opener, can play in the final preseason game.

"It's one that I'm not going to rush back," Pederson said. "I know that injury can be a little discomforting, but at the same time we want to see where he is at."

Muddle in the middle

Pederson confirmed that linebacker Joe Walker is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Walker said the injury happened while he was running down the field on a kickoff return. There was no contact on the play.

Don Cherry, an undrafted rookie from Villanova, becomes the top backup at middle linebacker. However, the Eagles will also explore other options.

"I think we're going to continue to look at that," Pederson said. "Obviously, that's been a spot that we've looked at all offseason and also in training camp. I know Howie [Roseman] and his team are out there looking, and with the loss now to Joe, obviously something is going to have to be done."

Kendricks back

Linebacker Mychal Kendricks returned to practice after missing two preseason games. Cornerback Jalen Mills and running back Wendell Smallwood also practiced. Both were absent Thursday.

Matthews, defensive lineman Mike Martin (knee), cornerback JaCorey Shepherd (hamstring), cornerback Aaron Grymes (shoulder), kicker Caleb Sturgis (concussion), and safety Blake Countess (concussion) were out Saturday. Tackle Lane Johnson also missed practice with back soreness.

Extra points

The Eagles will continue playing third-round pick Isaac Seumalo at left guard with the first-team offensive line, although Pederson was not yet ready to "crown" Seumalo the starter. Stefen Wisniewski will stay with the reserves. . . . Flyers coach Dave Hakstol attended practice. . . . The Eagles are off Sunday before returning to practice Monday.