WILL EA­GLES HAVE DEEP THREAT SUN­DAY?

Jones, Wal­lace listed as ques­tion­able for Sun­day

The Morning Call - - FRONT PAGE - By Nick Fierro

PHILADEL­PHIA — Get­ting cor­ner­back Sid­ney Jones back and be­ing able to call wide re­ceiver Mike Wal­lace’s num­ber for the first time since Week 2 cer­tainly could help the Philadel­phia Ea­gles match up bet­ter with the New Or­leans Saints in this Sun­day’s play­off game.

Coach Doug Ped­er­son hinted be­fore Fri­day’s prac­tice that it ac­tu­ally could hap­pen but that “we have to see them again to­day, get them back out there and move around a lit­tle bit more.”

The team then con­firmed it af­ter prac­tice with the re­lease of its fi­nal in­jury re­port, list­ing Jones (ham­string) and Wal­lace (an­kle) as ques­tion­able along with LB D.J. Alexan­der (ham­string), DE Michael Ben­nett (foot), WR Shel­ton Gib­son (ham­string) and T Ja­son Peters (quadri­ceps).

Wal­lace hasn’t played since be­ing placed on in­jured re­serve fol­low­ing Week 2. He be­came the sec­ond (and last, per NFL rules) player to be des­ig­nated for re­turn when he was ac­ti­vated be­fore the fi­nal reg­u­larsea­son game.

Now it looks like the player they added to re­place the deep threat lost by Tor­rey Smith’s de­par­ture might be ready to con­trib­ute again.

Starters Ben­nett and Peters also are likely to play. They’ve been deal­ing with the same

SUN­DAY’S GAME

is­sue for weeks with­out miss­ing games.

Ped­er­son also cov­ered a va­ri­ety of other is­sues in his fi­nal meet­ing with re­porters be­fore Sun­day’s show­down in New Or­leans.

He feels much bet­ter about the state of the team’s cor­ner­backs head­ing into this re­match than he did the first time.

“I think they’re just play­ing with a lit­tle more con­fi­dence,” he said. “They’re play­ing to­gether, they’re hear­ing all the calls the safeties and the lineback­ers are mak­ing and they’re just com­fort­able with play­ing more. They’re play­ing fast and they’re not nec­es­sar­ily think­ing as much as just re­act­ing to what they see.”

Of his fourth-down men­tal­ity, he said: “I think in games like this you have to stay ag­gres­sive.”

He agreed with a sug­ges­tion that the Saints de­fense is un­der­rated.

“I do,” he said. “I think it’s a tremen­dous de­fense. Great against the rush; they’re sack­ing the quar­ter­back; it’s a vet­eran group on the back end and it’s just a re­lent­less group.”

He re­it­er­ated how mis­guided play­ers would be to seek re­venge for the 48-7 thrash­ing at the hands of the Saints in Novem­ber.

“You have to guard against that,” he said, “be­cause if you start do­ing that, it takes you out of who you are, it takes you out of char­ac­ter a lit­tle bit. … You’ve just got to stay with who you are, trust the scheme, trust the process, trust the guys around you. I mean, that’s what you’ve got to do in games like this. You can’t get all side­ways think­ing re­venge or think­ing we’ve got to to do this, we’ve got to do that.”

How­ever, us­ing the re­sult as mo­ti­va­tion sim­ply to ad­vance in the play­offs is just fine with the coach.

“I know the guys,” he said. “It’s on their mind ob­vi­ously be­cause we’re play­ing them again. It’s all over the news ev­ery time you turn it on. It’s al­ways ref­er­enced back to that game, which is the last thing we know.

“So the guys un­der­stand, didn’t play well. If they use it as mo­ti­va­tion, great. Ev­ery­body gets mo­ti­vated dif­fer­ently for dif­fer­ent games. I just think that this is a big game be­cause it’s the next one and it’s the only one we have left on our sched­ule un­less we win, and so from that stand­point the mo­ti­va­tion fac­tor is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.”

[email protected] Twit­ter @nick­fierro 610-778-2243

BRETT CARLSEN/GETTY IM­AGES

Mike Wal­lace, try­ing to catch a pass against the Fal­cons on Sept. 6, played in just two games for the team be­fore break­ing his leg. Af­ter prac­tice Fri­day he was up­graded to ques­tion­able on the fi­nal in­jury re­port, open­ing the pos­si­bil­ity that he could play Sun­day.

MATT ROURKE/AP

Ea­gles head coach Doug Ped­er­son says he doesn't want his team think­ing about re­venge for its 48-7 loss to the Saints in Novem­ber.

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