Soft-tissue injuries have wreaked havoc on the Philadelphia Eagles in recent years. Multiple players endured what appeared to be freak tweaks or sprains during Doug Pederson’s reign as head coach.
Were they simply cases of bad luck? Or was it emblematic of a bigger problem? Remember, the Eagles made sweeping changes to their medical staff in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Then the organization fired Pederson and embarked upon the most cautious offseason in NFL history under first-year head coach Nick Sirianni.
The Eagles basically punted on preseason games while playing touch football in training camp. That strategy has continued into the regular season with the team rarely going full tilt in practices. Sirianni has turned to walk-throughs to get mental reps over physical ones. And it appears to be working.
Dallas Goedert had been one of the most injury-plagued guys on the roster in his first three seasons. This year, the talented tight end has only missed one game and it was due to COVID-19 instead of injury. Goedert credited a new workout regiment for improving his conditioning. He also seemed to threw some subtle shade at the previous coaching staff for his lengthy injury history.
“It’s probably a combination of both,” Goedert said when asked about his own conditioning habits versus staff changes. “I’ve added quite a bit into my just weekly regiment, whether it’s massages or just doing different things like stretching and strengthening my muscles.
“But then also I feel like we’re practicing less. We’re spending less time on the field. My body is going through a lot less wear and tear. You know, the things that I was asked to do the last three years compared to this year is a little bit different so I think that all kind of plays a part in it.”
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Putting the Giants Loss Behind Them
The Eagles would be in a lot better shape if they had beaten the New York Giants in Week 12. They can still control their own destiny by winning out, but the margin for error is zero. That 13-7 defeat stings hard.
“We’re not going to let it linger,” linebacker Alex Singleton said of the Giants’ loss. “We know what’s in front of us. We know if we can take care of business we get them again and it can completely change our division record and where we want to be in the playoff race and all that stuff.”
Everyone in the locker room has moved on from the Mess in the Meadowlands. And no one considers it a “wake-up call.”
“It was one [Giants game] you hate to lose, just like any of them,” Goedert said. “One we wish we could have back, but I don’t know if it was a wake-up call. It was just we need to get better.”
Eagles Shuffle Meeting Rooms Due to COVID-19
The Eagles are taking extra precautions to deal with the recent COVID-19 spike across the NFL. The Washington Football Team – their opponent in Week 15 – has 21 players infected right now. Sirianni said he is doing his best to shield his team from COVID-19, highlighted by shuffling the meeting rooms and encouraging guys to mask up.
“Again, you try to keep everybody separate and we did a little shuffling of our meeting rooms,” Sirianni said. “But you try to keep everybody separate and they’re no different. We didn’t send one of them home or anything like that. But we have space in our meetings that we feel comfortable with.”