Doug Pederson Delivers Cryptic Update on 2 Key Eagles Starters

Miles Sanders

Getty Eagles RB Miles Sanders was a finalist for NFL Rookie of the Year honors in 2019.

The Eagles’ offensive line has been playing musical chairs all summer. Will it be missing a beat at right tackle?

Lane Johnson missed the final three practices with a “lower-body” issue and popped up on the injury report as day-to-day. No one in the organization had been expressing much concern about the starting right tackle skipping Week 1, until Wednesday following some cryptic wording from the head coach. Doug Pederson said Johnson would be out there practicing in individual (not team) drills. That’s not a great update considering the season opener is just four days away.

“We’ll see where he’s at at the end of the week, but he’s doing well,” Pederson said. “Lane is going to work today individually out at practice. He’s a guy that’s day-to-day. We’ll see where Lane is at today, and hopefully he’ll progress in the right direction.”

Remember, Johnson also missed time early in training camp after testing positive for COVID-19. The 30-year-old sat out five games down the stretch in 2019 while dealing with a high ankle sprain. Matt Pryor filled in for Johnson in last year’s wild-card playoff loss to Seattle but he’s starting at right guard with Brandon Brooks out.

That leaves Nate Herbig as next man up on the depth chart unless the Eagles wanted to trot rookie Jack Driscoll out there for Week 1. Pederson did give another rousing vote of confidence for the “young guys” on the roster.

“Lane is a valuable piece to our offensive line. But yet we’ve got to prepare everybody if Lane is not available, and we’ve got to get our young guys ready to go,” Pederson said. “This is why when we select offensive linemen we look for guys that can play both left and right side, can play inside and outside. We’ve got some young players there that we’ll have ready.”

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Miles Sanders Listed Day-to-Day

The Eagles also are being cautious with starting running back Miles Sanders. The dynamic playmaker out of Penn State has been out with his own “lower-body” injury since Aug. 19 and remains day-to-day. The team will release their first official injury report of the year on Wednesday.

Pederson remains upbeat on his availability for Sunday, although he did hint at possibly scaling back his workload. That would open up more carries for backups Boston Scott and Corey Clement, and maybe for newcomer Jason Huntley if they keep him active.

“I think it goes back to even last year when he missed some time and we managed him to get him ready to play,” Pederson said of Sanders. “I do think that is a possibility. We’ll get him through this week, see how he does and see where he’s at on Sunday.”

Sanders gained 818 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in 2019 while adding 509 receiving yards and three scores. His 1,641 all-purpose yards and 1,327 yards from scrimmage led all NFL rookies.

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