Doug Pederson Talks Plan at Left Tackle, Eagles Rookie Mentioned for Starting Role

Jack Driscoll

Getty The Eagles beefed up their offensive line by drafting tackle Jack Driscoll out of Auburn.

Doug Pederson confirmed the inevitable on Saturday: Andre Dillard is out for the season.

Dillard, the Eagles starting left tackle, tore his biceps muscle on Thursday and he’ll be placed on injured reserve very soon. It’s a disappointing development for the former first-round pick (22nd overall in 2019) who was poised for a breakout sophomore year. There had been some hope that Dillard may return later in the year, but the organization seems content to let him heal and return in 2021.

“Yes, Andre Dillard suffered the injury last week in practice and definitely — it’s unfortunate,” Pederson told reporters. “He had a tremendous offseason. He was having a really good camp for us, coming in healthy, strong. It’s unfortunate, but he’ll get better. He’ll heal from this and be ready to go.”

While conventional wisdom points to Jason Peters reprising his role as “The Bodyguard,” the Eagles head coach wanted to pump the brakes on that a bit. There has also been chatter about the team bringing in a free agent or possibly exploring a trade for a veteran. But Pederson didn’t sound like a man interested in reshuffling his offensive line rotation. He has a bevy of interesting in-house candidates on the roster.

“In regard to left tackle, Jason Peters is obviously in the conversation,” Pederson said. “J.P. has done an outstanding job, coming in, playing the right guard spot. We’re going to continue to look at him there, as well, but we have some options.”

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Peters Headlines List, Driscoll Mentioned

Peters, of course, headlined Pederson’s list but he wasn’t the only one. He pointed to Matt Pryor who has been seeing time at right tackle with Lane Johnson out and Jordan Mailata who immediately filled in for Dillard at left tackle at Thursday’s practice.

Then, there is the curious case of rookie Jack Driscoll. The Auburn product has been flashing at camp and his name keeps coming out of Pederson’s mouth as a guy who is really standing out.

“We do have some young players, Jordan Mailata, Matt Pryor, Jack Driscoll, who’s a rookie obviously but playing some tackle for us,” Pederson said. “But we’ve got a couple of guys now including Jason Peters that we want to look at over at the left side. We’ve got a couple of days here before, one, roster cuts, but obviously getting into the regular season.”

Getting back to Driscoll for a minute, he’s been the apple of Pederson’s eye in padded practices. The head coach complimented the way he battled and held his own against aggressive veteran pass rushers like Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat when given first-team reps. This is more than pure coach speak.

“I think of Jack Driscoll off the top of my head,” Pederson told reporters last week. “He’s come in and we’ve put him in positions to go against Brandon Graham, go against Vinny Curry, Josh Sweat, some of our starting D-ends and done a nice job there.”

Obviously the left-tackle spot is now a fluid situation but don’t count Driscoll out in the ongoing competition there. Strange year indeed.

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