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The gates of the NovaCare Complex have been closed since March 12, a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic. With only a smattering of team personnel on-hand to maintain the building, rehab injured players and guard the grounds, the Eagles have turned to other ways to start the offseason program. They’re still having one: a nine-week program through June that started on April 27, but it’s being conducted virtually 4 days per week,4 hoursperday.

“It’s the way we’re doing business,” says Head Coach Doug Pederson. “So far, it’s gone really well.”

Nearly 130 players, coaches and football staff members logged on for Pederson’s opening of the program, held on the Microsoft Teams platform, as players and coaches continued to stay at home around the country. The program is voluntary but given the fact that there isn’t a whole lot to do beyond staying engaged at home, the Eagles had an extremely high turnout through the month of May.

“We get a workout and follow the program they are putting in place and then we have a chance with the coaches to go through the playbook,” says wide receiver Greg Ward, who has been staying with his family in Texas. “It’s been smooth. It’s not ideal, but if you want to put the work in, you’re going to get something out of it.”

Players are doing what they can do to get into football shape. Some players, like defensive end Brandon Graham who lived in Michigan for the first couple of months of the offseason, have suitable gyms in their homes. Some of the less-established players, like running back Boston Scott in Louisiana, do anything they can to find an empty field. Ward found a private gym that opened in Texas. First-round draft pick Jalen Reagor continued through his self-build program, pushing himself to do 700 pushups every day.

“We’re expected to report to work in shape, whenever that is,” Reagor says. “So there are no excuses. I will find a way to workout and be ready to go this season.”

May 26, 2020
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