Q. I am going to ask you for an injury update here on a few key guys: T Lane Johnson, RB Miles Sanders, WR Alshon Jeffery and DT Malik Jackson? (Dave Zangaro)
COACH PEDERSON: So, one [Lane Johnson], two [Miles Sanders] and four [Malik Jackson] are day-to-day. Number three [Alshon Jeffery], his foot has been cleared to practice, but he sustained a calf injury a couple weeks ago so he’s still kind of nursing that and so he’s more day to day.
Q. How disappointing is that with Alshon than? He finally gets over the foot and now he has another injury to deal with? (Dave Zangaro)
COACH PEDERSON: Sometimes you see it with guys that have one injury and then they come back and something happens to another part of their body. It is something that occurs, but when he’s healthy, he’ll be out there and ready to go.
Q. T Jason Peters, do you think he has the chance to return Sunday night and where are you lining him up? (John Clark)
COACH PEDERSON: First of all, he has been cleared to return to practice. So, that’s exciting for us to get him back this week and get him in the mix. Right now, I think it’s just a matter of him just getting out there and feeling comfortable again with the offensive line. We haven’t been real committal one way or the other, but he definitely can help us at left tackle, and he’s had the right guard experience. So, we basically just need to see him moving around today and tomorrow and see where he can best help us.
Q. TE Dallas Goedert was activated for that 21-day practice window. What’s the latest with him? (Tim McManus)
COACH PEDERSON: Well he’s another one. He’s doing extremely well. I’m excited to get him back and sort of integrated into practice, even if it’s on a limited basis, where he can at least start maybe catching passes from [QB] Carson [Wentz] and detailing some routes. We just got to see where he is each day and see where his comfort level is and how he responds with a little more of an intense I guess work out on his injury.
Q. You mentioned left tackle as a possibility with Jason Peters. T Jordan Mailata had a rough day Thursday. How much of a concern was that and does that play into the possibility of where you put Jason Peters if he’s ready to play? (Paul Domowitch)
COACH PEDERSON: First of all, Jordan [has] filled in nicely. He’s done a great job, and I think that’s a bright spot for us having seen him play and really play against some really good defensive ends or outside linebackers. We all know that Jason Peters feels comfortable at left tackle and he’s a veteran player and if that’s where we want to play him this week, even if he’s available to play. It’s just something that I think too with Jordan, again, the reps, the time on task is just valuable and something he can learn from as he progresses and moves forward. So, it gives us a lot more depth now at the offensive line position, that’s for sure.
Q. When we talked with S Rodney McLeod the other day, he had mentioned a message you gave the team last week when you look at these three weeks of divisional games that you guys have ahead of you, he said you told the team, ‘Focus on this chunk of these three divisional games moving forward’. I’m curious if you can expand on that, especially now this week when you already have one of those divisional games under your belt, you’ve got a rivalry game with the Cowboys, and again another divisional game this week? (Kristen Rodgers)
COACH PEDERSON: Sometimes part of my messaging comes in blocks right, it comes in waves. We as coaches sometimes we talk about the first quarter of the season, the first four games, then the second quarter and on to the third, on to the fourth. For us when we looked at the schedule and kind of where we are up to the bye and really the game after the bye, these were all division NFC East opponents. Two against the Giants and then the Cowboys this weekend. So, my messaging to him was just, ‘Hey let’s lock in here these next couple of weeks. Let’s focus in. We know we have a little bit of time off after this football game where guys can really get healthy and then gear up for that third NFC East game.’ So, it’s just kind of how I shaped the messaging to the team and I guess from a focal standpoint just kind of give them a visual as to kind of not only where we are, but kind of where we’re headed
Q. You have had a lot of young guys contributing, rookies and first-year type guys like WR Travis Fulgham and WR John Hightower, some of the offensive linemen. What does it give your team when you have that kind of young, youthful energy, guys who maybe you weren’t really counting on who’ve blossomed a little bit, what does it do for the whole team when you have that? (Reuben Frank)
COACH PEDERSON: I do believe that it really lifts everybody. There’s a sense of energy I think with a younger player, youthfulness, a guy that’s out there and kind of flying around. You see him making plays in practice and then it carries over in games and I think everybody, coaches and players, really kind of feed on that and feed off that. It’s been really exciting to see our young players have such an impact on our first seven games. And then really, I think, quite frankly, they’re going to have an impact on the rest of the season, as they as they get more and more play time. Then obviously sprinkling in the guys that have been hurt, coming back to practice and things of that nature. I know from my standpoint I get energized and I get jazzed up when you see these guys come in and do the things that we see in practice and it carries over into games.
Q. Did you mention WR Jalen Reagor? I wasn’t following all the numbers there. Where is he in practice, I guess? (Les Bowen)
COACH PEDERSON: Jalen, first of all wasn’t in the 1234 scenario earlier, but Jalen is going to practice. He’s going to be out there today. Again, he’s another one we got to get him back into the offense and then just see where he’s at. But yeah, he’s another one that will be out there today practicing.
Q. Also, Lane, someone like him, who’s trying to play with something that isn’t really healed. Would there be an advantage to trying to get through this game without him and giving him the extra week with the bye coming up? How do you weigh things like that? (Les Bowen)
COACH PEDERSON: I’ll let you take that up with Lane because that guy doesn’t want to come off the field. You know he’s tough. He’s tough and still – I will mention this too with [T] Jack Driscoll, he’s getting close and we’re going to see where he’s at again. We have to be smart obviously as a medical staff and as coaches to not put a player in harm’s way. If the player feels comfortable — if Lane feels comfortable in playing and getting out there then listen, I’m not going to be the one that stands in his way. But it does give us some added firepower I think with the offensive line if somebody like Lane can go.
Q. Getting back to Jason Peters, you mentioned where he’s comfortable playing and it seemed at least from the outside looking in, during the summer, he had influence in determining where he would play. As you make that decision now, how much is it based on what he wants to do and how much of it is based on the overall outlook of the offensive line? (Zach Berman)
COACH PEDERSON: Well I’ll tell you this, one of the things that I really appreciate about [T Jason Peters] JP and where he is in his career is he understands where we are as a football team and how he can best help the football team. Listen if it’s playing left tackle again, he’ll go play left tackle. If we ask him to play right guard, he’ll play right guard. That’s just who JP is. We’ve got seven games under our belt and we’ve had a lot of moving pieces up there. Hopefully one day we can have some stability with the offensive line. Again, if that’s him playing left tackle, great. If it’s at right guard, great, but at least it gives us stability moving forward.
Q. The trade deadline is coming up. I know you’re not going to talk about potential additions, but you have been through it in the past. So, how difficult is it if somebody comes in to get them ramped up and up to speed at this point in the season? (John McMullen)
COACH PEDERSON: It’s challenging, it’s difficult. Obviously, you’re always looking to add talent, to add depth to your roster, but at the same time this person has to come in and whether it’s offense, defense, and then throw in special teams right, he’s got to feel comfortable. We have to feel comfortable as coaches before we put players out there and that’s a little bit of a challenge halfway through your season, but it can definitely be done. So, we’ll see where we are next week, but it can be a little bit of a challenge to get that person ready to go at least that first week.
Q. When it’s Dallas Cowboys week, do you get a little extra juice for these games, especially when first place is at stake right now? (Jeff Skversky)
COACH PEDERSON: Yeah, you know I do. It’s always a great week. It’s an exciting week anytime you play any of our division opponents, division rivals. This is no different. We’re on Sunday Night Football and we’re excited again to be in the national spotlight to be in another home game. Feeding off hopefully a little bit of momentum from last Thursday, but it’s something that you look at both teams and maybe there’s not the same lust or excitement from the game. Maybe the two teams are struggling or whatever it is — but listen, it’s always the Dallas Cowboys. I remember back in ’99 when I played here and I can think of the fans are always like, hey there’s two games every year that you really got to win, and it’s the two Dallas game. That’s a part of the excitement this week. The guys are excited. I know Dallas will be excited coming up here. Looking forward to playing.
Q. You brought up time on task and I was wondering how much does that factor into your decisions, maybe, especially this week with a lot of guys trying to kind of rev up and get back into the game. Would it help to have some of those younger guys still out there and not necessarily rest those other guys, but be a little bit more precautious with the players as they go through this 21-day window? (Mike Kaye)
COACH PEDERSON: I do think from a coaching standpoint you got to be smart with that right? I think you just don’t throw a guy out there and expect him to kind of pick up where he left off. I think it is a slow process, right? You got to incorporate them back into practice a little bit. Again, it goes back to the young guys that have been playing and they’ve been playing well, and they’ve been getting better each week. It makes it a little more difficult on us as a staff to find the right combination of guys each week to play, but our veteran players are good players and the guys that are injured are good players and if they’re capable of playing, we got to find a way to get them on the field.