Also, Darren Sproles should be healthy for this week’s game.
Doug Pederson spoke Monday afternoon in the wake of the Eagles’ loss to the Ravens. He touched on plenty. Here are the highlights:
On injury updates
Barner (hammy strain) will miss Thursday’s game
everyone else is good for the game -- barbre, celek, matthews, seumalo (high ankle sprain), sproles, vaitai
On Lane Johnson’s return, and the offensive line
Who starts at right tackle on Thursday?
“Going into this game, considering the nature of the injuries we’ve had, and with Lane being back today, Lane will go in as the starter.”
Have you seen or talked to Lane yet?
“I haven’t seen him yet today. I know he’s in the building, and is with Coach Stoutland. I’ve been game planning and been in my office all morning, so I haven’t had a chance to see him yet.”
Is there a higher injury risk for a guy who has missed a bunch of time?
“It’s possible. Just have to see, when I put my eyes on Lane, see where he is physically, and what he’s been doing over the last 10 weeks. But he’s such a tremendous athlete that I wouldn’t expect anything too traumatic to happen in the net Couple weeks. But obviously it’s possible.”
Will Allen Barbre be at left guard?
“It’s something we’ll evaluate. We’ve got to see where he’s at, health-wise, see if he’s 100 percent. Obviously these last two weeks we’re starting to get our offensive line back to full strength, so that’s something we’ll evaluate these next couple of days.”
Does Isaac’s play factor in to uncertainty of whether Barbre starts at LG?
“It does a little bit. Again, this week’s going to be tough. He does have the ankle sprain, and it’s going to be a day to day with him to see where he’s at. But Isaac came out of this game playing... he played well, he played well for his first right tackle start. We’ve got a great player in Isaac, and a versatile player who can play any of those positions, now, along the line. So it gives us a little more depth, these last couple of weeks, and he’ll definitely factor in.”
Is Lane in game shape? You must know something if he’s starting.
“Again, I haven’t seen him, so I don’t know. I know something: Isaac’s hurt, Big V’s coming off an injury, and Allen Barbre’s injured. So what else do I have left? You know what I mean? I’m just going, ‘Lane, you’re the guy. I don’t care if you’re X weight. You’ve got to play.’
“And listen, Lane, I’m sure, he’s an athlete. I’m sure he worked out and kept himself in shape, and stayed relatively around ... he was around 318, 319 when he left us, so I expect to see him around there when I see him later today. And with the injury situation, you’ve got to go.
On getting ready for a Thursday night game
“Today being a Monday, and we’re playing on Thursday, we want the guys in the building to begin the initial installation process for the Giants. There is a fine line between what you can do on the field, and making sure they’re fresh and ready to go.
“So you spend a lot of time in meetings, you spend a little amount of time as possible on the field. It’s more walkthrough situations to keep these guys as fresh as possible, because, again, they’re coming off a game less than 24 hours ago. I’ve got to make sure we do the right thing by these players.”
On why throwing the ball early was so ineffective
:Some of it was the weather. When the wind picked up, obviously the wind and the weather was able to move that ball a little bit. Some of it was the protection, a few issues early in the game. You saw Carson moving around. Guys were — Baltimore had a nice little pick stunt with their front, and caught us a couple times, made Carson move.
“But once we were able to kind of get those settled down on the sidelines, you started seeing the deeper, or, I’ll say intermediate throws to Ertz, and a couple of shots there to really get the ball moving. A lot of it, to be honest with you, for at least half of the game, was weather involved.”
On why Byron Marshall, not Ryan Mathews, was on the field for the two-point conversion
“There was zero, in my mind, zero opportunity to run. Because what we anticipated is what we got, defensively. They gapped out, they zero-blitzed us, there was not going to be a lane. It was going to be a one-yard loss if we tried to run the football at that time, and in those situations it’s, as I mentioned after the game, as a defensive coordinator, you storm the castle. That’s what they did.
“Then you try to create the matchup, one-on-one, which we did, we had a good one on our slot receiver Jordan Matthews, and it’s just unfortunate the one extra guy got his hand on the ball and tipped it. It wasn’t going to be a ... it didn’t matter who was in the backfield at the time. The fact of the matter was we weren’t going to run the ball in the situation.”
Will you play more young guys now that playoffs are a no-go?
“We’re playing all our Young Guys now. I mean, who are you referencing? ... C.J.’s been active every week, played a lot of teams. Jalen Mills has been getting a lot of reps. Guys like Jaylen Watkins, even though he’s not a rookie, he’s been playing quite a bit. On offense, I guess Bryce Treggs, Paul Turner, guys who have played this season.
“The only one that’s unfortunate is Wendell not getting carries int he next two games. For the most part, our young guys have played extensively throughout the season. But I would say we still want to win these next two games. So that’s our approach. We’re going to play the best 11 these next two weeks.”
On importance of aggressiveness on fourth downs and two-point conversions
“You want to stay aggressive, you want to trust your players, and I feel like that’s what I’ve done this season. It was no different yesterday, it was evident yesterday. And again it comes down to relying a lot of times on the information and the data that you’re given, and give everybody a chance for success. A lot of factors go into that.
“But you don’t want to necessarily be in that many fourth downs, and/or if you’re going for two a lot, it’s either because you’re behind and you need the two points, or sometimes, like in Pittsburgh’s case, they go for it early in the game to get that 8-0 score rather than that 7-0 score. It’s all stuff to consider.
Who has those numbers and scenarios for you guys?
“It’s not just one person. It’s things we talk about in our analytical team They study all the numbers, crunch all the numbers across the league and the percentages over the course of so many years, and usually you can go back five years and get all the statistical data, what is in your favor as an offense. It’s broken down by field position, the down and distance, where you are. Those are things we rehearse during practice during the week.”
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