Doug Pederson alters practice schedule, casting doubt on health of Carson Wentz

Ed Kracz

Doug Pederson threw a curveball on Wednesday morning, deciding to cancel his normal padded practice day and simply conduct a walkthrough, which is the sort of practice usually held the day before games.

By making the practice a walkthrough released the Eagles of their obligation of having to let the media watch practice.

Closing practice raises a red flag as it pertains to the health of Carson Wentz, who took a beating during a very physical game Sunday night in Atlanta.

Nobody now will see if Wentz fully practiced. He is schedule to meet with reporters following the walkthrough and the Eagles still have to release an injury report from practice, but, because it's a walkthrough, the injury report only has to be an estimation as to whether or not players were full go or limited.

Wentz was seen in the locker room after the game with various bruises on his back.

He was also seen during the game clutching his ribs after a particularly hard hit in the first half by Falcons linebacker Deion Jones and he had to a small portion of the game in the medical tent being evaluated for a concussion.

VIDEO: Doug Pederson talks about his team's health and reason for changing practice schedule

Head coach Doug Pederson has insisted all week that Wentz is fine. He did so again during his Wednesday morning news conference.

Asked if Wentz would practice in full if the schedule had not changed from pads wo walkthrough, Pederson seemed to give an over-the-top response.

“Yeah,” said Pederson.

He followed that up by drawing out is yeah, like, yeeeaah, then scoffed in an as-if manner.

Then he said again, “Yeah, he’s fine,” then let out a little laugh and said, "yeah," again.

Pederson may also not want reporters to see if receivers Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are practicing or not.

Both players were injured early in Sunday’s game. There are reports that the two biggest weapons on the team will miss the next two weeks and not return until the team hosts the New York Jets on Oct. 6.

Pederson said both players are day-to-day and more will be known later in the week as to their availability.

It already appears as if Dallas Goedert, who injured a calf during the pregame workout on Sunday, could miss time after the Eagles called up tight end Alex Ellis from the practice squad earlier in the week.

Pederson, though, didn’t sound like anything nefarious was afoot with his explanation on why he altered his practice schedule.

It’s not the first time he changed things up like this, but when he has done it in the past, it’s usually later in the season, around weeks 16 and 17 in order to give his players rest after a long season.

“A couple things, number one, with the guys who are a little nicked up who have a chance to play in this football game, I want them to get the reps in practice,” said Pederson. “Normally we go a padded day. And then, two, we have some young guys who might have to play and they’re also serving the offense or the defense, so this way it allows everybody to practice and maintain their focus and get the work done we need to get done (Wednesday).”

He added that another reason for the schedule change is due to a quick turnaround between Sunday’s home game against the Detroit Lions and Thursday’s road test against the Green Bay Packers.

“It’s another reason to pull back a touch,” said the coach. “I want these guys as fresh as possible for these next two weeks. I have to think of the big picture here and keeping guys, it’s early in our season, as fresh as possible now so we can make a push later in the season. That’s also a factor in this decision.”

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