The Eagles held their first practice of Phase 3 of spring workouts — otherwise known as organized team activities (OTAs). Tuesday's session was open to the media. Here are some observations and notes:

1. Carson Wentz is still far from a full recovery, far from his first full participation in practice, but he was the top story of the day. While Doug Pederson made it seem as if Wentz would do little to nothing during OTAs, the injured quarterback partook in every individual drill and hardly looked five months removed from major knee surgery. Wentz wore a soft brace on his left knee, but his movements were unrestrained to the naked eye. He moved north-to-south, east-to-west during pocket drills. He planted on his back leg, stepped forward on his reconstructed knee and threw left and then right during swing-pass drills. He took snaps from the shotgun, dropped three steps, five steps, seven steps, and fired passes to his receivers who ran a variety routes. He turned to hand off, ran play action, spun and then threw. There was no defense, but nearly every toss was on target. He once tossed a BB that appeared to stun receiver Rashard Davis, who couldn't hang on.

2. Wentz still has a long road. He has said that his goal is to be back by Week 1, and that would put his rehabilitation timeline at just under nine months. But he made a statement Tuesday and one that I assume was intentional. Wentz met with reporters before practice for an unscheduled news conference. For someone who typically doesn't go out of his way to speak publicly, the impromptu podium appearance came as a surprise. Nick Foles may have taken every repetition with the first-team offense and may take most through training camp, but Wentz is still the starting quarterback and his presence in front of cameras further cemented that fact. Wentz may not be fully back on the field, but he was back front and center off it. Asked before practice how involved he would be, Wentz said, "You guys will be out there today, so you'll see." And, boy, did we.

3. After individual drills, Wentz took off his helmet and knee brace. He briefly worked with a trainer once the installation period began, but he spent most of the remainder with either the other quarterbacks or the offensive coaching staff. The installing period was the first glimpse we got of the depth chart. There were numerous players missing because of injury and defensive end Michael Bennett and running back Darren Sproles opted to not attend voluntary workouts this week. I may have missed a few players and there was plenty of rotation at the offensive skill positions, but here's an early rough draft of the units:

Eagles tackle Jason Peters during practice at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday.
TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
Eagles tackle Jason Peters during practice at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday.


First – second – third – fourth

Key: Players in [brackets:] injured. Players in (parentheses:) typically

QB: Nick Foles [Carson Wentz] – Nate Sudfeld – Joe Callahan
RB: Jay Ajayi – Corey Clement [Darren Sproles] – Wendell Smallwood/Donnel Pumphrey/Matt Jones – [Josh Adams]

WR: Nelson Agholor [Alshon Jeffery] – Bryce Treggs – Marquess Wilson – Anthony Mahoungou

WR: Mike Wallace – Mack Hollins/Shelton Gibson – Markus Wheaton – Tim Wilson

Slot WR: Mack Hollins (Nelson Agholor) – Greg Ward – Rashard Davis

TE: Zach Ertz – Richard Rodgers – Dallas Goedert – Billy Brown/Adam Zaruba/Joshua Perkins

LT: Jason Peters – Halapoulivaati Vaitai – Jordan Mailata

LG: Stefen Wisniewski – Chance Warmack – Aaron Evans

C: Jason Kelce – Jon Toth (Isaac Seumalo) – Ian Park

RG: Brandon Brooks – Matt Pryor – Darrell Greene

RT: Lane Johnson – Taylor Hart – Matt Pryor

Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) walks across the field during practice at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia on Tuesday.
TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) walks across the field during practice at the NovaCare Complex in South Philadelphia on Tuesday.


First – second – third – fourth

Key: Players in [brackets:] injured. Players in (parentheses:) typically

LDE: Chris Long [Brandon Graham] – Steven Means – Joe Ostman

LDT: Fletcher Cox – Winston Craig – Winston Craig [Aziz Shittu]

RDT: Destiny Vaeao [Tim Jernigan] – Elijah Qualls [Haloti Ngata] – Bruce Hector

RDE: Derek Barnett [Michael Bennett] – Josh Sweat – Danny Ezechuwu

MLB: Nigel Bradham [Jordan Hicks] – Paul Worrilow [Joe Walker] – Paul Worrilow

WLB: Nate Gerry – Nate Gerry – Asantay Brown

SLB: Kamu Grugier-Hill (Nigel Bradham) – Corey Nelson – Kamu Grugier-Hill [LaRoy Reynolds]

RCB: Ronald Darby – Rasul Douglas – Chandon Sullivan/Avonte Maddox

LCB: Jalen Mills – Sidney Jones/De'Vante Bausby – Chandon Sullivan

Slot: Sidney Jones – D.J. Killings – Avonte Maddox

S: Malcolm Jenkins – Tre Sullivan – Stephen Roberts

S: Rodney McLeod – Jeremy Reaves [Chris Maragos] – Jeremy Reaves [Ryan Neal]


K: Jake Elliott

P: Cameron Johnston

LS: Jake Lovato

(Isaac Seumalo did not participate in team drills, so that is why he wasn't included in this depth chart. He did snap the football during 7-on-7 drills and didn't appear to be injured. I'm not sure what to make of his exclusion.)

5. The Eagles have a lengthy list of walking wounded, aside from Wentz. Jason Peters is also recovering from a torn ACL, but he was involved in individual drills and lined up with the other starting offensive linemen during the installing period. Vaitai took his spot during team drills. Lane Johnson said after practice that Peters could have probably gone the full session. Jordan Hicks was limited after participating in linebacker drills. The following injured players were present, but only watched: Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (shoulder), safety Chris Maragos, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (injury unknown), linebacker Joe Walker (injury unknown), running back Josh Adams (foot), safety Ryan Neal (injury unknown), and linebacker LaRoy Reynolds (injury unknown). Defensive end Brandon Graham (ankle) and defensive tackle Tim Jernigan  (back) weren't at practice. Both recently underwent surgery. Mychal Kendricks (ankle) also had recent surgery, and when he was spotted walking in street clothes at the NovaCare Complex rather than at practice it was assumed that he was simply still recovering. But the Eagles released the 27-year-old on Tuesday.

6. There was one casualty at practice, which was held indoors because of rain. Linebacker Paul Worrilow, who was signed this offseason to provide middle linebacker depth, tore his ACL. He tried to break up a Nate Sudfeld pass to Donnel Pumphrey and appeared to run into linebacker Corey Nelson. A cart was soon summoned and Worrilow was wheeled off wearing an air cast. On the healthier side, Sidney Jones participated in his first OTA. The second-year cornerback, who missed most of last season as he recovered from an Achilles injury, split time between first team slot and a second team outside spot. He looked fast and once intercepted an underthrown pass from Foles to Nelson Agholor during team drills.

7. Aside from his new uniform number (26), Jay Ajayi had a different look. He looked bigger, and I don't mean in a bad way. A few weeks back, Pederson singled out the running back as one of the veterans who had returned in good shape. Ajayi is entering a contract year, and while it may be presumptuous to suggest that money is a motivating factor, he does have his future to consider. The Eagles aren't exactly keen on handing out long-term deals to running backs. Pederson will continue to ride a rotation in the backfield, but Ajayi should be the primary ballcarrier and he isn't likely to argue with more touches. The competition for the fourth running back spot — if the Eagles keep four — is up for grabs. Wendell Smallwood fumbled during a team drill — a quick reminder here that players weren't in pads and contact was limited — and was promptly yanked.

Jay Ajayi has come into camp in great shape.
TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
Jay Ajayi has come into camp in great shape.

8. Foles wasn't exactly sharp, but who cares, right? He's the Super Bowl MVP! He tried to go deep to receiver Mike Wallace — who looked like he hasn't lost much in the speed department — but the pass fluttered and was short. Cornerback Jalen Mills reached back and tipped the ball to himself for an interception. Later, Foles threw slightly behind Agholor. Safety Rodney McLeod may have gotten a finger on the ball.

9. Nate Sudfeld, quarterbacking the second-team offense, took many snaps during 7-on-7s and team drills. He had his ups and downs. A corner fade to rookie tight end Dallas Goedert during red zone drills came up short and cornerback De'Vante Bausby made a nice leaping interception. Sudfeld rebounded, though, and hit Goedert on a slant. The pass was slightly behind the tight end, but he pulled the ball in and ran over the goal line. A few plays later, Sudfeld threaded the needle to receiver Bryce Treggs in the back of the end zone. Bausby stood out several times and would also knock down a toss to Goedert on a comeback route. Second-year receiver Shelton Gibson snagged a high Sudfeld pass out of the air. Gibson had major struggles last spring. Catching uncontested passes was even an issue. But he improved as the year progressed and has gotten off to a nice start during his first full offseason. A roster spot isn't guaranteed, but he could provide much-needed depth.

10. And a few quickies: Reserve quarterback Joe Callahan fired a seam pass to Billy Brown, but the second-year tight end never looked back. … Rookie defensive end Josh Sweat ran with a slight hitch. Maybe it's just his gait, but it bears watching considering his knee history. … Jordan Mailata is one smart Aussie. The rookie tackle, who only recently picked up football, hung close by Peters during individual drills and took the perennial Pro Bowler's advice during breaks. … Donnie Jones was one of the best punters in team history, but he was also a master of kicking indoors. He had such control over the trajectory of his boots that I hardly ever saw him hit the ceiling in the Eagles' bubble. New punter Cameron Johnston must have whacked about a half dozen punts off the top. Maybe his leg is just stronger than Jones, but the caromed kicks had players dodging footballs in all sorts of directions.