The injury update on DeVonta Smith could have been a lot worse. The first-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles will miss two to three weeks with a sprained MCL, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The team is calling it a “minor” setback and no one within the organization is overly concerned.
Smith limped off the practice field on Saturday night after hurting his knee trying to catch a low pass from Jalen Hurts. He never returned and observed the rest of the session on the sideline in what was deemed a precautionary measure. Smith is officially listed week-to-week on the team’s injury report.
It was widely assumed that the Heisman Trophy winner would start the year as Philly’s top receiver, starting opposite second-year wideout Jalen Reagor. Greg Ward Jr. and Travis Fulgham are also pushing for first-team snaps, especially in the slot. Smith’s injury could open the door for some bubble guys like John Hightower, Michael Walker, Quez Watkins, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni had been very complimentary of Smith and the way he’s grasped the offense early on at training camp. His fundamentals are off the charts, something credited back to his time under Nick Saban at Alabama.
“We have these guys out here that are world-class athletes and if you can combine athleticism with fundamentals, the sky is the limit for a lot of these guys and that’s where I see DeVonta, his fundamentals are really polished for a young player,” Sirianni said. “So a lot of credit to DeVonta for working at his craft and his game and a lot of credit to the people that have coached him in the past.”
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Carson Wentz Undergoing Foot Surgery
Former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz will undergo foot surgery and miss five to 12 weeks. The injury dates back to his high school days and test results showed the broken bone had come loose, per The Athletic’s Stephen Holder. Wentz could be out until at least Week 6 or maybe longer.
Wentz’s mobility will be severely limited on a bum foot even when/if he returns. He’ll likely be forced to sit back in the pocket, unable to rely on his legs to extend plays or take off and run for first downs. The Eagles need the Indianapolis Colts starter to play at least 75-perent of the offensive snaps in 2021 (or 70-percent and a playoff berth) for the conditional second-round pick they received to become a first-rounder.
Sirianni Employing Hands-On Approach
Sirianni has been extremely hands-on during training camp practices and that approach carries over into the meeting rooms. The new head coach sits in on as many offensive meetings as he can, but there is no better place in the building than the quarterbacks room. The brain trust includes Sirianni, offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson.
“Quarterback rooms, that is one of the best places in that building,” Sirianni said. “We just talk through so many things, right? We talk through just why we’re calling a play and what we want it against and what it might not be good against.
“And there’s just these conversations that go and Joe [Flacco] has all this experience, Nick [Mullens] has experience, Jalen [Hurts] has experience and just, ‘Hey, what is your favorite time you’ve ever hit this?’ I just seeing in them connecting on being in that room together, and really, really happy with that.”