Eagles Guard Brings Up Nick Foles, Defends Carson Wentz

Brandon Brooks

Getty Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks likes the way Carson Wentz has handled the pressure this year.

It’s the time of year for St. Nick to make his annual arrival in Philadelphia. Not so fast.

Nick Foles left for jollier pastures in Jacksonville, leaving Carson Wentz all alone to pull the sleigh. The Eagles quarterback has been healthy (knock on wood) and clutch in leading the Eagles to back-to-back victories.

The team can take the NFC East crown with two more wins. It all starts Sunday versus Dallas. However, Wentz would be looking for his first meaningful December win in nearly three seasons.

Can he do it? It sure looks like he can.

Of course, the ghost of Foles is always lurking in the shadows as a haunting reminder of playoffs past. Right guard Brandon Brooks mentioned Foles’ name the other day during an adamant defense of Wentz.

“I just told him, ‘Don’t ever think that any loss we ever have as a team is solely on you,’ because it’s not,” Brooks said, via Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “The world makes it seem that way because he’s the franchise guy and he’s got all this money and he’s supposed to be X, Y and Z and Foles this, Foles that.”

Doug Pederson Gives Eagles Players Day Off

The Eagles are getting a much-needed day off following two straight season-saving wins. They will return to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday to begin prepping for the Cowboys.

Head coach Doug Pederson updated the team’s injury list after the Eagles’ 37-27 victory over Washington. He declared that everyone is “trending in the right direction” but gave no guarantees that any of his injured starters would be available for Sunday.

In fact, it sounded like quite a few of them would be longshots to play. Remember, right tackle Lane Johnson is dealing with a high-ankle sprain while running back Jordan Howard continues to heal from a mysterious shoulder “stinger.”

Receiver Nelson Agholor remains sidelined with a sore knee and defensive end Derek Barnett might practice this week despite a banged-up ankle.

“We expect him [Barnett] to do something later in the week,” Pederson said. “See where he’s at, get him on land and get him going. Everybody’s getting there. It’s a slow process but they’re healing.”

Pederson made it clear that he wouldn’t rush anyone back, just because this is a pivotal showdown. The Eagles need to beat the Cowboys this week and the Giants in Week 17 to clinch the division.

“Bottom line is I’m not going to risk further injury with anybody for a game,” Pederson said. “But if they are capable of playing in this football game, then we’ll make that determination later in the week.”

Kamu Grugier-Hill Sees Decrease in Snaps

Doug Pederson raised some eyebrows when he criticized Kamu Grugier-Hill for lying about a concussion. He called the linebacker’s decision a “selfish act.”

The coach seemed to pound the point home by decreasing his snaps last week, too. Grugier-Hill played only five snaps against the Redskins after being on the field for 30-percent of the team’s snaps over the past eight weeks. That’s a sharp decline for one of the Eagles’ team leaders and captains.

While the snap counts may seem bizarre, Pederson told reporters not to read too much into it. He wasn’t sending a message.

“No. I think, one, the structure of the offense, and then also, T.J. Edwards has been playing well, too, when he’s getting some opportunities,” Pederson said. “So there’s a little bit of that.”

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