Doug Pederson Notes: Jordan Matthews' Role; Will Alshon Jeffery Play?

A day after offensive coordinator Frank Reich made it seem possible that Jordan Matthews could lose some playing time to Nelson Agholor this season, head coach Doug Pederson said he doesn't "foresee" Matthews' having a reduced role. 

So if Matthews doesn't have a reduced role, how does Agholor get on the field? 

"The one thing about Nelson that I like and that I've seen, he can play inside and outside," Pederson said. "So you can get him some touches on the outside, you can get him some touches on the inside. It goes back to what I said many times with our offense. We move these guys around by position, that they have to know inside and outside. Nelson is going to get his touches. I'm excited to watch him perform again and get his confidence level back to where it needs to be."

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All this talk of the Eagles' slot receiver position arose when NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah said with confidence that the job was Agholor's and he didn't know what that meant for Jordan Matthews, who enters the final year of his rookie contract. 

Matthews, who has been Agholor's biggest proponent over the last couple years, then spoke openly about the yearly competition in the NFL. 

Almost game time
The Eagles will kick off their preseason on Thursday night in Green Bay, but as of early Tuesday afternoon, Pederson said he didn't have the rotation figured out yet. 

All he would say was that Carson Wentz will start the game. 

Pederson said that Alshon Jeffery, who has been limited in practice, is healthy enough to play on Thursday. But that doesn't mean Jeffery will play; Pederson had yet to make that decision. 

"It's just my discretion," Pederson said. "I'm not concerned. We don't play Washington for a few weeks and that's really the bottom line." 

On Tuesday, Wentz and Jeffery spent about five minutes working together near the end zone. The two missed a week of practice together when Jeffery was out with a shoulder injury. Pederson doesn't seem concerned about their chemistry, though. 

"That chemistry is going to be there," he said. "It continues to develop and I got to get both of those guys to Washington and opening day."

Chance in for Brooks? 
Eagles starting right guard Brandon Brooks suffered an ankle strain on Monday during practice and missed Tuesday's work. In his place, newcomer Chance Warmack has taken over at right guard. 

On Tuesday, Pederson made it seem like Warmack will start if Brooks can't play against Green Bay. 

"He's done a great job with [Stefen Wisniewski] and Isaac (Seumalo) and the guys have been rotating at the guard spot," Pederson said. "It would be a great opportunity. Gotta see where Brandon's at obviously, but he's worked himself in the mix. And that's where he's at right now."

Odds and ends 
• QB Nick Foles (elbow), WR Paul Turner (shoulder), RB Wendell Smallwood (hamstring), TE Anthony Denham (calf) and G Josh Andrews (hand) missed practice again on Tuesday. WR Marcus Johnson (hamstring) and TE Adam Zaruba (concussion) returned. 

• Zaruba returned to practice but looked completely lost during a portion of it. The former rugby player missed a few days at the beginning of camp while waiting for a visa, then got a concussion. Now, he's back, trying to learn a sport he hasn't played since high school. It can't be easy. 

• Jaylen Watkins took some reps at cornerback on Tuesday. That's interesting because Watkins is a safety converted from corner and the Eagles could use all the help at CB they can get. 

• Zach Ertz made a phenomenal one-handed catch during the light 10/10/10 practice. Most observations from these practices would be silly, but an incredible grab is an incredible grab. 

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