PHILADELPHIA >> Brandon Graham, Alshon Jeffery and Chris Maragos opened training camp Thursday on the active-PUP list.
Carson Wentz did not, contrary to a national report that absolutely baffled Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.
“I have no idea where that came from, and that’s the God’s honest truth,” Pederson said. “I have no idea.”
Wentz practiced, and looked good, in 11-on-11s. He denied there were conversations with the Eagles about starting camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which basically is the place to stash rehabbing or injured guys so they don’t count against the 80-man roster.
PUPs can’t practice until they’re cleared by doctors. There’s no hurry for any of the above veterans, particularly Graham, who led the team last season with 9 1/2 sacks, to show they’re healthy until the week before the Sept. 6 regular season opener.
“To be in football shape, you’ve got to play football,” Graham explained. “But I think we’re going to make that call when it’s time. Right now, I’m just trying to be smart and make sure I’m at least in offseason shape, and then when I get on the field I’m just trying to make sure I get used to pushing and pulling on people again. It’s just a process, and I think Game 1 is where we’re shooting.”
Jeffery also is working out individually. He’s pushing hard enough that when he was asked how far off his return is from surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, one of his calves cramped up.
Maragos is coming off knee surgery.
Additionally the Eagles put Tim Jernigan and Bryce Treggs on the active-NFI (non-football injury) list, which is a lot like PUP, the difference being they weren’t hurt playing football.
Treggs said he had a sore knee. Jernigan, who underwent back surgery, was nowhere to be found, although previously he insisted that he would be back this season.
If those players don’t progress as expected, they can be placed on the reserve-PUP list, shelving them for at least the first six weeks of the season. After the sixth week, teams have a three-week window to decide whether to promote such players to the 53-man roster or move them to injured reserve.
At this point, there’s no rush.
“I’ll keep working one day at a time like I’ve been doing,” Graham said. “But that’s the goal, Game No. 1.”
Offensive tackle Jason Peters, running back Darren Sproles and linebacker Jordan Hicks all competed in the 11-on-11 drills Thursday.
The same with Wentz.
Peters, 36, split snaps with Hal Vaitai. Peters is coming off surgery for a torn ACL.
The 35-year-old Sproles, who underwent knee and wrist surgery last season, confirmed that he expects to retire after this campaign.
Hicks has come a long way after tearing an Achilles’ tendon.
The Eagles won the Super Bowl without all three of those players.
“It’s great to see them all back in there working,” Pederson said. “Every one of them, they are going to get more and more as we go obviously, and obviously we’re encouraged and like where they’re at. But at the same time, we’re going to be cautious and careful as we go.”
Defensive end Michael Bennett knows what a season can be like after winning a Super Bowl, the 10-year vet earning a ring with Seattle thanks to their rout of Peyton Manning and Denver in SB 48 at the Meadowlands.
It’s early but Bennett, 32, believes the Eagles are up to the ask.
“I think they understand it’s a new year and it’s important to go out and conquer one game at a time,” Bennett. “Not worry about the past or not try to think too far into the future. It’s about how well you play against Atlanta. Just try to conquer one week at a time.”
Pederson was OK with the first training camp practice.
Not doing cartwheels over it, but OK for a first day.
Pederson would have preferred fewer pre-snap penalties and fewer wild shotgun snaps from backup center Isaac Seumalo, who was spraying the ball everywhere.
“All phases — offense, defense, special teams,” Pederson said of the mistakes. “It’s an area we can get better at. Something we’ve struggled with in the past.”
The guys had to be dragging a bit from the Wednesday fitness test. They all passed, per Pederson.
“They attacked the conditioning test,” he said. “It was impressive to see the guys come in and be ready. To me, that is the first sign of the guys are motivated and dedicated to have a good camp, you know, the way they approached yesterday.”
The Eagles practice Friday at 9:15 a.m. at the NovaCare Complex.
The first of two public practices is Sunday, Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Linc.
You’ll need to reserve passes at www.ticketmaster.com.