Eagles’ Offense Encouraging, Wentz May Return

Will Carson Wentz return for the Eagles' preseason finale on Thursday night?

Dorial Green-Beckham. (USA Today Sports)

Dorial Green-Beckham. (USA Today Sports)

INDIANAPOLIS — In one play, Dorial Green-Beckham displayed why the Eagles traded for him. Using his five-inch height advantage over Colts cornerback Tay Glover-Wright on a fade route, Green-Beckham simply jumped up and lifted his hands a foot or two over Glover-Wright’s head to haul in a 4-yard touchdown catch.

Sam Bradford didn’t throw a perfect ball, but he didn’t need to as the Eagles’ extended their lead to 17-3 near the end of the first half. While Green-Beckham only caught one other pass for 11 yards in his team’s 33-23 win, how Doug Pederson hopes to use the young receiver is already clear.

“He is a big, physical receiver. He is kind of the receiver that comes to mind when you think of fades in the red zone,” Bradford said. “Any time that we can get him matched up one-on-one backside, we want to take advantage of that. It is huge for us. It just gives us another weapon, another play down there. Just trusting him to go make a play, it is nice to have someone like that down in the red zone.”

Green-Beckham certainly gave the Eagles something to smile about, but so did the offense as a whole. Indianapolis played without double-digit defenders, including six cornerbacks, but Philadelphia’s first-team offense scored on four of their five drives, excluding their two-play series to close out the first half. Bradford completed 17 of his 20 pass attempts for 167 yards and two touchdowns, and his one interception was the result of a Nelson Agholor drop.

The Eagles’ offensive line consistently gave Bradford a clean pocket to throw from, and they opened up sizable holes for Ryan Mathews, who carried the ball three times for 31 yards.

“To come out and execute the way we did was nice. I was really happy with the communication up front at the line of scrimmage and our tempo in and out of the huddle,” Bradford said. “We were getting to the line quickly and overall, I thought the execution was great. It is obviously something we can build on moving forward.”

According to Pederson, Bradford played better because of his increased repetitions in practice. Pederson evenly split snaps throughout training camp between Bradford, Chase Daniel and Carson Wentz, but he gave Bradford all of the reps in the practices leading up to the Colts game. The Eagles’ head coach attributed his offense’s timing and rhythm to the way they practiced, noting Bradford’s high completion percentage.

However, with Wentz set to return from his rib injury soon, it’s unclear how the practice time will be divided. The rookie quarterback could see a significant bump in the next few days if he is cleared to play in the Eagles’ final preseason game on Thursday against the Jets.

“(Wentz) worked out tonight again and went through a full workout. He’s in a position to possibly play next week,” Pederson said. “He’s still a little bit sore, so we’ll monitor that. We’ll make sure he’s rested here in the next couple days. I don’t want to jeopardize him by any stretch of imagination there, but at the same time if he’s ready to go, he’ll play next Thursday.”