Q. Now that WR Alshon Jeffery appears close to returning, how do you get him into the lineup without it taking snaps away from some of the young receivers who have developed for you? (Zach Berman)
DOUG PEDERSON: We have a plan for him, and without revealing that plan, we got to get through another day of practice first. He’s done a good job with his rehab and put himself in a position to practice this week and have a full complement of practice participation.
So we’ll see again today. But, look, he’s a veteran player. He’s been one of our starters, and we’ve got a plan if he’s ready to go to get him in the game. Obviously, he’s a big receiver that can help and he knows the offense and what we’re doing.
Q. So T Lane Johnson has been a limited practice participant this week. What does that mean in terms of how he’s doing? Do you expect to have him Sunday? Do you expect to have him, and is he really up to snuff? What’s going on there? (Les Bowen)
DOUG PEDERSON: Limited just means we limit his practice reps. He practiced each day, whether it’s through individual periods or working with Stout [offensive line/run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland] over on the adjacent field or getting limited participation reps during the team portion of practice. So limited can be a little misleading sometimes.
But he’s in a good spot. He’s a lot like Alshon right now where we need to get him and see where he is today with a few more reps, but I’m optimistic that he’s good to go for Sunday, and obviously would give that offensive line a big boost if he could go.
Q. Sticking with the offensive line, OL Isaac Seumalo has been full go at practice this week. Obviously, you can take him off IR by Saturday. You have a lot of guys coming back. Any concern about the rust factor and anything of that nature and having so many new bodies potentially in the mix? (John McMullen)
DOUG PEDERSON: It’s sort of the reason why we activate their 21-day window, to try to knock some of that so called rust off them, to get them incorporated back into practice.
Isaac being one of them. He’s done a nice job. He, again, was a little more on a limited basis this week. We wanted to incorporate him back into the offensive line and get him thinking football a little bit more.
But, again, today is going to be another big day for him at practice to see where he is at not only physically, but mentally going into potentially his first game back.
Q. You were a backup quarterback for a very long time. You probably know as well as anyone what it’s like to be in those shoes. What advice do you give to QB Jalen Hurts when there is outside noise and maybe even when you look at the way the starter has played about him assuming that starting role? What do you tell him how to handle that mentally? (Jeff McLane)
DOUG PEDERSON: I just tell, like coaches told me in my role. Just focus on being you and focus on the offense and what you are capable of handling if you had to play. That is all we can instruct Jalen to do.
He goes in as the No. 2 and he has to be prepared, ready, and we coach him to be prepared. That’s the way I approached it when I played. That’s the way I approached it when [former Eagles QB and current Bears QB] Nick [Foles] was here, when [former Eagles QB and current Lions QB] Chase Daniel was here.
So that’s the mindset. The backup is like any position on the team. They’re one play away from entering the football game, and they have to be ready to go. I know the starters get most of the reps during the week, but these players, part of their job is understanding and learning the game plan, and then when called upon, having to execute that plan.
So block out the noise and focus on being you.
Q. With QB Josh McCown gone, did you give any consideration to potentially sequestering QB Nate Sudfeld away from the rest of the quarterbacks? (Bo Wulf)
DOUG PEDERSON: No.
Q. You guys have been in the intensive protocol this week. What’s the biggest challenge of that as you prepare for the Giants? (Tim McManus)
DOUG PEDERSON: Honestly, there hasn’t been a challenge. Maybe traffic in Philadelphia. And I say that seriously, because we know that traffic can be an issue with guys coming from Jersey or from downtown or parts of PA and just getting the guys here rather than getting them here early in the morning.
But we’ve had a great week, great meetings. The virtual aspect of it has been really good and very productive. We’ve had really good walk-throughs prior to practice. So quite honestly, just my concern really are the guys traveling to NovaCare for practice.
Q. How does RB Miles Sanders look to you this week, and how will you determine how much you use him? Earlier this year there was a game where later in the game you said there was some fatigue that was a factor. Is that something you’ll be able to decide as the game goes on? (Rob Maaddi)
DOUG PEDERSON: That was early in the season coming out of training camp I believe where he missed some time and he has since played since that episode. I lean on the medical staff No. 1; I lean on [Director of Sports Performance] Ted Rath and the training, strength and conditioning staff with the conditioning. Just watching Miles practice and really how he’s gone through his conditioning phase these last couple of games or last couple of weeks rather, really hasn’t — it’s a little different, right? It’s a little different because he has played.
I think you do have to continue — we have to monitor him. We got to make sure that we don’t see the signs of fatigue with him, but we haven’t seen any this week in practice. He’s done a nice job, and we get through today and I think, again, optimistic he’ll be good to go.
Q. One more on Alshon. It’s been almost a year since he played. Look at December last year. You said you have a plan for him. How long does it take a guy who obviously is a veteran, has played a lot of football, but how long does that process for him take to get on the field, not in practice but in a game, and actually get comfortable? Is that something that’s going to take him a few weeks, or you think once he’s in there he can kick it into gear? (Reuben Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: I’m hopeful that he can just kind of plug and play, but realistically I think it’s going to take some time. It’s going to take a little bit of time for him to get comfortable in the game, to be up to game speed, to kind of get fully integrated back into playing football.
It has been a while, as you said. That’s why our plan has to behoove him as a player and the offense. It’s just something that we have to as a staff be smart if he’s ready to go that — you know, I don’t want to crush Alshon physically and factor in fatigue or more injury or whatever.
So we have to be smart with that, but I also have to listen to Alshon and how he feels going into this week. That’s why these practice days have been so important and really today becomes a big day as well.
Q. WR Jalen Reagor had a lot of expectations on him as a first-round pick and then he gets hurt. Do you ever have to check in with a young kid like that to make sure he’s handling it all well mentally, and how has he handled it, if so? (Dave Zangaro)
DOUG PEDERSON: Yeah, I think it’s important that we continue to check in on our young guys, and not so much just from playing football and the health of them physically, but I think through this pandemic. Some of these guys are living on their own and it can be lonely at times, right, during this time where you can’t be around family and friends. So, yeah, it is important that we check in with them.
And speaking about the football side, it’s highly important, really important. Something that I want to make sure that he is in the right frame of mind and how he’s attacking practice. I think [wide receivers coach] Aaron Moorehead does a great job of even relating to the players and talking to the players that way, these young players, and kind of knowing what they’re going through so that they can be at their best not only during the week, but on Game Day.
As you know, the later we get into the season, these college guys, their season ends usually towards the end of November and we still have six, seven, eight games left. It’s a mindset.
So we constantly check in with them, make sure they’re doing well, and want to make sure they’re not only physically healthy, but mentally healthy as well.
Q. You spent the first half of the season with so many injuries adjusting at so many different positions, whether it was wide receiver, offensive line, linebacker, wherever, so what’s it like going into the second half knowing that you have pretty much almost everybody back who has been out for a while? I mean, is it kind of a different feeling? (Martin Frank)
DOUG PEDERSON: Well, the key word there is almost everybody. That’s the phrase that keeps going through my head is we’re close. I wouldn’t say we’re there yet, but it’s something that — it’s also exciting I think as a team and for me as the head coach to know that we have some of these starters on the verge of making a return here in the next couple of games.
We haven’t felt like this in a long time and that gives you hope, gives you an excitement and enthusiasm around the team. I’m looking forward whenever that day is to be at full strength. If it’s only for a short time, it’s for a short time. But one day, yeah, you’ll see Isaac back out there and hopefully see [TE] Zach [Ertz] back out there and [LB] Nate Gerry and [DE] Genard Avery and the guys that are nicked up right now.
This is a credit, too, I mean, I say that about those starters, but I also want to say this about the guys that are playing: Guys that are playing are busting their tails and are playing hard and doing the right things. It’s not always perfect, but they’re doing it right and they’re doing it fast and they’re doing it hard, so that’s also encouraging.