For a team decimated by injuries, the Philadelphia Eagles got some promising news on Wednesday ahead of practice.
Head coach Doug Pederson alerted the media that starting running back Miles Sanders and right tackle Lane Johnson would practice after missing Week 1 against the Washington Football Team.
Sanders is dealing with a hamstring issue while Johnson combats a bum ankle.
“I do expect them to practice today,” Pederson said. “Lane and Miles will definitely get some practice time today and see where they’re at.”
The Eagles struggled mightily without those two starters in their season-opening shock loss to Washington.
The ground game was non-existent without Sanders, though a good amount of blame has to be pinned on Pederson’s shoulders for not working the rushing attack into the playbook more while up 17-0. Philadelphia only ran the ball 17 times compared to 42 pass attempts with Boston Scott getting a bulk of the carries.
Relying on the passing game to see out Washington backfired mightily on the Eagles, especially without Johnson at the right-tackle spot to protect the franchise quarterback. Washington sacked Wentz eight times and pressured him much more, playing a part in two game-changing interceptions that the underdogs managed to turn into touchdowns to spark their comeback.
There seems to be optimism that both players would be available for Week 2 against the Los Angeles Rams, but there is no rush to make such a decision as of yet.
Should Johnson not be able to go on Sunday, rookie Jack Driscoll will fill in at the right tackle spot. Meanwhile, the committee of Scott, Corey Clement, and Jason Huntley will try to keep the backfield afloat for at least another week.
On the defensive side of the ball, Derek Barnett is trending in the right direction as well after he missed the season opener with a hamstring injury. The 24-year-old is coming off his finest season as a pro with 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 games last year.
As for defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, Pederson put no timetable on his return as he deals with pectoral and hamstring issues.