The Philadelphia Eagles returned to practice on Wednesday, three days after their riveting Week 1 victory. Don’t read too much into the first injury report, although being down three starters to start the week is a tad alarming.
Tight end Zach Ertz (hamstring), right guard Brandon Brooks (knee), and safety Marcus Epps (concussion) were all missing in action. Ertz tweaked his hamstring in the first half of Sunday’s game, while Epps remains in the concussion protocol. Brooks’ inclusion appears to be a precautionary measure. Remember, the 32-year-old showed up on the injury report all last week before starting in Week 1. He played all 71 offensive snaps.
Veteran pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan also sat out Wednesday’s practice for what the team ruled a “personal matter.” His absence doesn’t appear to be injury-related at this point. Kerrigan had been recovering from thumb surgery and wore a protective covering versus Atlanta. Receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (ankle) is day-to-day.
Head coach Nick Sirianni talked about the importance of establishing good practice habits in his media availability prior to the team taking the field on Wednesday. They want to keep that “dog mentality” going.
“Practices were crisp last week, and we stepped on the field and were ready to play that game,” Sirianni told reporters. “If we don’t have good practices this week, we’re not going to be ready. It’s being in that mindset, that dog mentality to put yourself in position to go out and win the game on Sunday.”
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Javon Hargrave Graded Out Well
The star on the defensive side of the ball in Week 1 was Javon Hargrave. The 305-pound defensive tackle seemed to be in Matt Ryan’s lap on every play, aided by the double teams drawn by All-Pro Fletcher Cox. Hargrave finished with two sacks and two tackles for loss.
“Javon had a couple singles because of Fletch really. They want to double Fletch. Well, you can’t double everybody,” defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon said. “Personally, I expected him to play really well, and he did.”
The former Pittsburgh Steeler struggled to get up to speed in 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic. Hargrave missed the first game due to injury, but it was the inability to bond with his new teammates in the locker room that hurt more. He didn’t record his first full, unassisted sack until Week 13.
“I couldn’t do nothing,” Hargrave said about last year. “I was just sitting and watching and gaining weight. It feels pretty good to be out here running around and having fun with some of my teammates.”
Arcega-Whiteside Affecting Box Score
Arcega-Whiteside registered zero catches in Week 1. He wasn’t targeted once, but he did see 32 total snaps (16 on offense, 16 on special teams). Sirianni thinks he made the most out of those snaps before leaving the field with an ankle injury.
“J.J., I thought did an excellent job yesterday [Sunday] of blocking. He was aggressive,” Sirianni said. “He was able to make some plays, kind of sprang out there for extra yards. He’ll be rewarded with catches from that.”