Eagles coach Doug Pederson said it was part of the play design for Carson Wentz to block on a reverse in the fourth quarter of the Eagles' 24-19 win over the New York Giants, even after Wentz left the game earler to be evaluated for a concussion. Wentz was cleared to return to action, and Pederson had no hesitation to call the play.
"We talked on the sideline, and we talked . . . before the series," Pederson said. "He was good. He was cleared. So I had no hesitation."
Wentz blocked Giants cornerback Eli Apple and hit his head against left tackle Jason Peters' ankle. Apple and Peters suffered injuries on the play. Wentz said that the concussion scare "really didn't affect my decision in doing that," and once he was cleared he would play like normal.
"Obviously our goal in everything we do is to try to win a football game," Pederson said. "I think the second that you sort of hesitate in any situation is a time you get beat."
Wentz threw his 14th interception of the season in the first half after scrambling in the pocket, escaping pressure and trying to connect with Bryce Treggs on a deep pass. It was a risky throw for Wentz to make, but it appeared Treggs could have been more aggressive returning to catch the ball. Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie jumped in front of Treggs for the interception.
"You never like to throw late deep, but at the same time, Bryce was open," Pederson said. "Carson did everything he could to avoid the rush and the sack, and he spun out of it. As a receiver you are always taught to come back towards the ball and things of that nature."
More fourth downs?
The Eagles attempted their 26th fourth-down conversion on Thursday. Pederson has pledged to be aggressive, but he's hoping the Eagles don't approach that number in future seasons.
"I'm hoping in the future we do better on first, second and third down, where we're not putting ourselves in a lot of makeable fourth downs," Pederson said. "But at the same time, if it benefits our team and we can stay aggressive with it and it's smart and it's a good decision, then I will continue to do that and go for those fourth downs."
The Eagles are 13 of 26 (50 percent) on fourth downs.
Linebacker Jordan Hicks sprained his ankle, but he is expected to be ready to play next week against the Dallas Cowboys. . . . Safety Jaylen Watkins suffered a concussion and is in the league-mandated concussion protocol. . . . Pederson said offensive lineman Allen Barbre's hamstring "got tight on him," which was why Barbre exited the game. Barbre has missed time because of hamstring injuries at different points this season, including last Sunday against Baltimore. . . . Tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai was inactive for the fifth consecutive game while recovering from a knee injury, but he went through an "extensive workout" before the game and should be able to contribute more next week. . . . The players are off until Tuesday, when they will begin preparing for Dallas.