Kendricks, Shepherd, Smallwood Out For First Game
Malcolm Jenkins (hamstring), Marcus Johnson, Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), Mike Martin (knee), Jordan Matthews (knee), Jason Peters (quad), Hunter Sharp, JaCorey Shepherd (hamstring), Wendell Smallwood (quad) and Marcus Smith (concussion) will not play in the Eagles’ preseason game on Thursday against the Buccaneers. Peters, however, will work out with the team during pregame workouts and be in uniform.
Matt Tobin will start in place of Peters at left tackle, Nelson Agholor will take Jordan Matthews’ spot as the ‘Z’ receiver and Chris Givens will take over as the ‘X’ receiver. On defense, Chris Maragos and Jaylen Watkins will rotate in with the first-team defense to replace Jenkins and play alongside Rodney McLeod. Najee Goode will replace Kendricks, although Pederson expects Kendricks to return to practice on Saturday.
Pederson called Matthews’ injury “more of a bone bruise,” which could prevent the Eagles’ No. 1 receiver from playing in the entire preseason. Pederson also said he’ll call plays directly to the quarterback on Thursday and script the opening plays for each quarterback.
He explained what he’s looking for from Carson Wentz, who will play the “bulk” of the second half.
“The biggest thing is just his decision making, the timing of throws, the accuracy of throws, how well he manages the offense, how well they move, and basically allowing him to just have fun and cut it loose,” Pederson said. “He’s such a mobile guy. When he can scramble and get on the perimeter, he has the ability to make some tremendous throws and accurate throws out of the pocket. I’m kind of excited to watch him do those types of things in a live setting.”
Pederson also confirmed Jalen Mills is currently ahead of Eric Rowe on the depth chart.
“Every day he comes to work. The aggressiveness, his style of play — he’s got a lot of PBUs, and hands on the ball,” Pederson said. “He’s willing and eager to want to be in that position. Everything I’ve seen from Jalen is definitely thumbs up, arrows up and [I] just look forward to these games with him.”