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Eagles keep an open mind as trade deadline nears

Coach Doug Pederson also said the Eagles will use the bye week to self-scout in preparing for the second half of the season.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson looks over at quarterback Carson Wentz late in the fourth-quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday, October 28, 2018. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson looks over at quarterback Carson Wentz late in the fourth-quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London on Sunday, October 28, 2018. YONG KIM / Staff PhotographerRead moreYong Kim

Back and a little bleary-eyed from a long but successful trip to London, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said the team has an open mind concerning  the NFL trade deadline at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

During his news conference Monday, Pederson also said he didn't have any injury updates on offensive tackle Lane Johnson and cornerback Jalen Mills.  Both were hurt Sunday in the 24-18 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium.

Johnson suffered a second-degree MCL sprain on the first series. Mills suffered a foot injury early in the third quarter.

"Because of the lateness of getting back, we pushed treatments back, so I don't have any updates," Pederson said.

Pederson thinks  it will be good for the players and coaches to get a breather during this week's bye. The Eagles (4-4) will return to action against the Dallas Cowboys in a Sunday night game home game  Nov. 11.

Of course, there is still plenty of work to do this week with the looming trade deadline. Asked if he anticipated any moves, Pederson  said anything is possible.

"I am very confident and comfortable with the guys we have, very confident of those guys as a group," he said. "We are constantly looking, and if we can add value and add talent on the team, we will look at that.

Referring to executive vice president  of football operations Howie Roseman, he said "Howie  is going to look at that. … If it values the Eagles and helps us win games, we will see."

Pederson said he and Roseman were on the same page when it comes to any potential trade.

"We look at our roster, and if it is an area that can help us win games for the next eight weeks and hopefully beyond, we are going to maintain that aggressiveness, just like we did with Jay [Ajayi] a year ago," Pederson said.

Ajayi was acquired at last year's trade deadline from the Miami Dolphins for a fourth-round draft pick. Last year, he rushed for 408 yards (5.8 average) and a touchdown in seven regular-season games for the Eagles and 184 yards (4.4 avg.) in three playoff contests.

"He helped us win a championship, so that is all part of the process," Pederson said of Ajayi, who is out for the season after suffering a torn ACL in the 23-21 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 7.

The Eagles coaches, according to Pederson will use this week to self-scout their team.

"As a staff, offense, defense, special teams, we will go back and can focus on some areas in the first eight game that we either struggled in or had success in, learn from it, and come up with a plan moving forward," Pederson said.

He outlined his top priority for offensive improvement.

"We have to continue to get better on third down, even though we were pretty good in the game the other day," said Pederson, whose team was 7 for 12 (58 percent) on third down against Jacksonville. "Red-zone efficiency has to improve the second half of the season; we have to score more points."

The Eagles are 17th in the NFL in red-zone efficiency in scoring touchdowns only (54.84 percent). They are 21st in the NFL in scoring, averaging 22.2 points, and 13th in third-down efficiency (41.3 percent).

"Defensively, our red-zone defense is playing extremely well," Pederson said. "We are holding teams to three and not seven points, which is really good."

The Eagles are third in the NFL in red-zone scoring defense, allowing touchdowns just 41.38 percent of the time.

The Eagles have played only one division opponent, the New York Giants, so five of the final eight games will be against NFC East teams: one against the Giants and two each against the Washington Redskins and Cowboys.

"We have to keep improving, get better — hopefully, we get guys back healthy the second half of the season," Pederson said. "We know our division and we have five division opponents the next eight weeks, so that is a challenge. But everything is right in front of us."