The biggest news to come out of the NovaCare Complex on Friday arrived at 1:51 p.m., long after Doug Pederson's news conference concluded, practice wrapped up, and most of the players left the locker room.
It was the injury report.
Franchise quarterback Carson Wentz is ready to make his 2018 debut, but who is going to take the field with him?
Running backs Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles were listed as "out" for Sunday's visit from the Indianapolis Colts. That wasn't a shock, especially Sproles, who also missed the Tampa game with a hamstring injury. Ajayi, in and out against Tampa with a back problem, hasn't practiced all week, and offensive coordinator Mike Groh acknowledged Wednesday that the move to bring up Josh Adams from the practice squad had to do with concern over Ajayi's availability.
But then there was the part of the report where running back Corey Clement was listed as "questionable" with a quadriceps injury. Clement, a full practice participant Wednesday and Thursday, not listed with an injury, suddenly was "limited" Friday. He was leaving the complex as reporters waited to be allowed into the locker room.
Indications are that Clement intends to play, but fans who'd sought solace in the thought that the Super Bowl rookie star might finally get featured-back-level touches Sunday, if the team were without Ajayi and Sproles, might have to reassess. It would seem the Eagles' only fully healthy running backs for this week's game are undrafted rookie Adams, making his NFL debut, and Wendell Smallwood, who might not have made the roster this year if Adams had been healthy for the entire preseason.
Clement is a key special-teams contributor.
"You've got to be careful," Pederson said, before practice and before the injury report was issued. "You've got to be smart there. You can't tax him one way or the other, because he's versatile and he's a very valuable piece of what we're trying to do on special teams and on offense.
"There's a balance there, and we've got to make sure that we have the right combination of plays for him."
Clement wasn't the only surprise. Also listed as "questionable" was wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, despite the fact that Jeffery still was listed as limited in practice, and that Pederson said right before practice that Jeffery had not been cleared for contact.
It seems really unlikely that Jeffery, recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, will somehow obtain clearance over the weekend and play without a full practice, having not been tackled since the Super Bowl. More likely, Jeffery is close to being cleared, has a good shot at playing the following week at Tennessee, and the Eagles just want to give the Colts a little something else to think about in their preparation.
Reporters will have the binoculars out for pregame warmups Sunday, just in case. For fans who want to join in on the fun: Injured players who loosen up on the field but aren't playing usually aren't wearing uniform pants; they're in sweats.
Left tackle Jason Peters, limited to eight snaps last week by a quadriceps problem, was listed as questionable even though he practiced fully Friday and apparently will protect the blindside of Wentz, who is returning from knee surgery. But linebacker and special teams standout Kamu Grugier-Hill was limited Friday, and listed as questionable for Sunday.
Pederson said that with Peters, the coaches "just want to make sure he's ready to go for Sunday."
Backup Halapoulivaati Vaitai at least could practice this week knowing there was a chance he would be playing for Peters, unlike last week, though Pederson said he didn't think this mattered to Vaitai.
"I think he's really become accustomed to it," Pederson said.
Indianapolis' end-of-the-week injury report was just as interesting. Starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo hasn't played this season because of a hamstring problem and won't play Sunday. Also out are starting running back Marlon Mack (foot, hamstring), tight end Jack Doyle (hip) and starting corner Quincy Wilson (concussion), among others.
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who returned to the Eagles midweek, 13 months after being traded to Buffalo, said he feels getting three practices under his belt was very beneficial. Matthews injured his hamstring Aug. 1, at New England's training camp, and these were his first practices since then.
"I had a way better day today than I had Wednesday," Matthews said. "That helped build a little confidence, just going into the weekend."
Matthews said he went back and watched some old film of himself, when he was catching 225 passes in three seasons for the Eagles, 2014-2016, to boost that confidence. He last played in a game Dec, 3, Buffalo vs. New England. So that's a week longer than Wentz has gone without playing.
"I think it can be as much [of a hindrance] as you let it," Matthews said. "I try to block out all of that stuff. 'OK, what's my job? If I've got to get 14 [yards] on this route, just get 14. If the ball comes, catch it and get as much [yardage] as possible.' If I start to think about everything else — 'I haven't seen this look yet' or 'This is my first game back' — you can't think about any of that stuff. … I just don't want to get too outside myself."