Eagles Training Day 7: Sanders Scare, Wentz Uneven
PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles had their longest practice to date Thursday, a nearly three-hour session heavy on situational football.
The nuts and bolts took a backseat late in the practice, however, when rookie running back Miles Sanders went down during team drills after a run. The Penn State product was down for a bit and general manager Howie Roseman even came on to see if Sanders was OK.
Eventually, Sanders walked under his own power to the medical tent, albeit gingerly while flexing his left foot and ankle. After about 10 minutes Sanders emerged walking a bit steadier and told 973espn.com that he was feeling OK.
"Don't tweet anything," he joked.
The cat was out of the bag at that point of course but Sanders returned to the sideline with his teammates and didn't go inside the NovaCare Complex although he never returned to action in the session.
After practice, Doug Pederson tempered any concern.
“Miles is good,” the head coach said. "We are going to get a few more evaluations after practice but seems like everything is OK.”
The Eagles have an off day on Friday and return to practice on Saturday and will likely be very cautious with Sanders.
As for the on-field stuff we got a heavy dose of situational work for the first team, including multiple periods of red-zone work.
Carson Wentz wasn't his sharpest from an accuracy standpoint and was a bit off in tight-window throws. He also threw two interceptions, including another one during 7-on-7 drills to linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill who again came from the backside which Wentz did not see. The other pick was to cornerback Sidney Jones, who has had a solid week from a playmaking standpoint and also stood out with a nice PBU against Nelson Agholor.
Some of the highlights for the offense was a Wentz tight-window throw to Darren Sproles just inside the end zone and Zach Ertz with a one-handed grab on a slightly off-kilter Wentz throw near the back of the end zone.
Veteran receiver DeSean Jackson was given a maintenance day by Pederson and center Jason Kelce was back after getting that same treatment on Wednesday. Running back and Glassboro native Corey Clement made a stride forward by working in 7-on-7 drills for the first time in camp.
“It was a big step,” Clement admitted. “... I can slowly take more steps getting back into team reps and hopefully by next week I’ll be back doing the whole thing.”
PRACTICE NEWS AND NOTES:
-The Eagles unveiled an interesting wrinkle with 13 personnel in the red zone. All three tight ends began in-line before flexing out right with a running back behind them, telegraphing bubble screen. Instead, Nate Sudfeld ran a QB draw. The Philadelphia offense also unveiled the jet sweep to Nelson Agholor in the red zone for the first time.
-First-round pick Andre Dillard got some first-team reps again at left tackle as the Eagles keep veteran Jason Peters on a pitch count. Peters left practice a bit early as well due to the heat and length of the session.
-While working on combo routes Jordan Howard showed off his hands on a deep wheel route from Sudfeld, getting the best of rookie LB Joey Alfieri.
-Joe Ostman continued to give Jordan Mailate fits in pass-rushing drills and even bested Kelce on an inside rush. The one O-Lineman who slowed Ostman down a bit was Casey Tucker, typically the third-team RT. Malik Jackson whipped Isaac Seumalo on one inside rush and the Eagles keep throwing things at Dillard with a spin move by Vinny Curry almost getting home and a bull rush by Daeshon Hall gaining some ground.
-The rangy Carlton Agudosi has been opening some eyes with his contested catch ability and Pederson made mention of the 6-foot-6 Rutgers product today.
"I think Agudosi is a kid that's showed up a little bit here from a receiver standpoint, the coach said. "... Every day is a different day, different set of challenges. I think he’s working his tail off in the individual part of practice. He's tall so he has to learn to play with his pad level down. Corners, DBs can really get their hands on a tall frame. He's really working hard on that and bending; pretty flexible for a big guy, and it's carrying over into the team reps."