No Eagles games for 13 days.
That’s both good and bad news. Fresh off their seventh straight win, a 51-23 mauling of the Broncos in Week 9, most of the Eagles players and coaches will head home or take a short vacation, as head coach Doug Pederson is giving them an entire week off ahead of Week 11’s game in Dallas.
“The best thing is to get away and rest,” the coach said. “Just downtime. [We] still want them to sort of seek some sort of physical activity, whether they lift or condition during the off week. The guys that are around can come into the facility and work out, get treatment, and make sure that they’re ready for next week and the next seven games… We’ve started something special and we want to make sure that we finish it the right way.”
As some players travel, some rest and some work to stay in shape, here are five questions Eagles fans will be wondering as they near their return to the field.
1. Will CBs Ronald Darby, Sidney Jones return?
It’s hard to even remember where these Eagles were back in September. After losing their top cornerback Ronald Darby in their opener (and later Fletcher Cox, Rodney McLeod and others for a stretch), Philly lost to the Chiefs, were 1-1 and really banged up. There’s a good chance they will be healthy when they return, with Darby slated to perhaps be back on the field for their Sunday Night tilt in Big D.
“He’s in a really good spot to possibly come back and help us here in the next week or so,” Pederson said of Darby, who has been practicing for a few weeks.
There’s also an outside chance the team will activate rookie Sidney Jones from IR, as he’s also been nearing competitive form.
2. Will Eagles stick with Jake Elliott?
Another throwback — remember when Caleb Sturgis got injured and Philly nabbed rookie Jake Elliott from the Bengals practice squad? Well a record five 50+ yarders later (including a crazy game-winning 61-yarder) and Elliott is a fan favorite. Sturgis is set to come back from the IR. Will Philly make the change?
“We’ll just have to cross that bridge when we get there,” Pederson said. “But nothing has been decided at this point with Caleb.”
3. Will Eagles face Ezekiel Elliott?
The drama continues with the Cowboys running back. Dallas faces the Falcons next week and then the Eagles in Week 11. As of right now, Elliott is allowed to play as his temporary injunction stands. But many expect him to be out of options in the next two weeks. If he is suspended for Week 11 that would obviously be a stroke of luck for the Birds.
4. Will bye week slow momentum?
The Eagles are playing the best football in the NFL and will have to step off the field this week. Is the timing bad? Most players welcome the chance to rest and seem unconcerned with the prospect of losing some momentum.
“There are a lot more games to go,” Eagles safety Rodney McLeod said. “We’re going to enjoy this bye week, but we know that we have a tough opponent coming at Dallas. That’s one game that, if we do want to reach our goal, we have to win. That’s one in the division. Dudes are going to enjoy it, but we’re also going to get ready and make sure we’re good and healthy and prepared for Dallas.”
5. Are the Eagles ready to hit the road?
Philly will have a tough stretch of games when they return. With four of their next five games on the road — with two in prime time and two on the west coast — it will be the most grueling slate of the season. In Dallas a week from Sunday night, the Eagles host the Bears before traveling to Seattle Sunday Night on Dec. 3, at the Rams in L.A. the next week, and in the Meadowlands to face the Giants on Dec. 17.