SUNBURY-ON-THAMES, England — Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Friday he hopes the team's first regular-season trip abroad will help bring the group together, much the way he felt last year's week in Southern California did, between games at Seattle and Los Angeles.
Pederson spoke just before practice began on a sunny, windy morning that also included spitting rain, as the Eagles warmed up at the London Irish Rugby Football Club's Hazelwood training grounds.
"Today is just about keeping the guys loose, and everybody going," Pederson said, after the team flew to London overnight. "This trip right here is a great time for us, to be away as a football team. It's obviously something we need, to be together like this for a couple days. … The guys understand kind of where they are, what they've done and not done. They're saying and doing the right things. … They know that they've let some games slip.
"LA was all together. Here we're all together, and it's just us. … Guys get to hang out, if they want to do something today or tomorrow. I think it's important."
Pederson said Friday's practice would tell more about the possible availability Sunday of defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who was a limited practice participant Thursday afternoon at NovaCare. Ngata joined Friday's practice after warmups. Pederson said undrafted rookie cornerback Chandon Sullivan, promoted from the practice squad Thursday when Derek Barnett went on injured reserve, "has done everything right, and put himself in position to help us. … We'll see how much time he gets."
Pederson was asked about the mysterious hamstring strain of 35-year-old running back and returner Darren Sproles, who hasn't played since the Sept. 6 opener.
"He's definitely a day-by-day case," Pederson said. "I'm not going to get into the specifics of the injury and all. He continues to work. … You want to make sure that thing's 100 percent."
Pederson denied there was anything wrong beyond the hamstring.
"I believe so," he said, when asked if he is confident Sproles will play this season at some point.
Pederson said it could be an advantage for the Jacksonville Jaguars that they play over here every year, but he noted that he has made the trip, in 2015 with the Kansas City Chiefs, and there are Eagles players and coaches who have done it with various teams. Jacksonville, like the Eagles, is 3-4, but the Jags have lost three in a row.