With less than a week to go until the world finally finds out who will start behind center for the Philadelphia Eagles, head coach Doug Pederson had a testy exchange with media members about the situation on Sunday.
All indications are that Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles will start when the defending champs open the regular season against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday. Pederson even admitted during his news conference that Carson Wentz hasn’t been cleared for contact.
But he also took issue with a report Saturday by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport stating Foles will start.
“First of all, I appreciate y’all putting words in my mouth this week, and, therefore, I’m not going to discuss it,” Pederson said when asked about the quarterback decision. When asked what words were put in his mouth, Pederson said: “You saw the reports.”
—The Carolina Panthers will be without starting left tackle Matt Kalil for at least the first half of the season, as the team announced it placed him on injured reserve two weeks after he had his knee scoped.
Taylor Moton, a 2017 second-round pick, will keep working in Kalil’s spot, the team said in a release.
In addition, starting right tackle Daryl Williams, who dislocated his right patella and tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee on July 28, amazingly returned to practice on Sunday and may play in the team’s opener against the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday.
—Robert Griffin III will back up quarterback Joe Flacco for the Baltimore Ravens this season, NFL Network reported.
That means rookie Lamar Jackson, the former Heisman Trophy winner from Louisville, will be the No. 3 quarterback. The Ravens moved up to select Jackson with the final pick of the first round in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Griffin, also a former Heisman winner, was taken with the No. 2 pick in the 2012 draft by the Washington Redskins. Injuries took their toll, and he never reached his potential with the Redskins, who released him after the 2015 season. He spent the 2016 season with Cleveland and was out of football last season.
—Khalil Mack will practice for the first time in 2018 on Monday, and the Chicago Bears are hopeful their new linebacker is ready for prime time.
The Bears plan on playing Mack in some capacity at Lambeau Field next Sunday night in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers.
Head coach Matt Nagy said Sunday, one day after Mack was acquired from the Oakland Raiders and signed to a $141 million contract, of the chances Mack is on the field in seven days: “Hopefully, pretty good. We’ve got to be smart, because the last thing you want to do is throw him out there and he gets hurt and we lose him for some time. We want to be aggressive with that, but smart.”
—Veteran running back Mike Gillislee signed with the New Orleans Saints one day after he was released by the New England Patriots, multiple media outlets reported.
The Saints, who released Jonathan Williams and face a four-game suspension for Mark Ingram, had just three active running backs on the roster — Alvin Kamara, rookie Boston Scott and Trey Edmunds, who spent time during the preseason competing for snaps at fullback with Zach Line.
Gillislee, 27, gained 383 yards and scored five touchdowns on 104 carries for New England last year. He previously played for the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills.
—Field Level Media