"Number one, with the guys that are a little nicked up who have a chance to play in this football game, I want them to get the rep in practice. Normally we go a padded day," said coach Doug Pederson, suggesting there are injured players who would not be able to practice Wednesday under normal circumstances.
"And then, two, we have some young guys who might have to play, and they're also servicing the defense or the offense [on the scout team], and so this way it allows everybody to still practice and maintain their focus and get our work done that we need to get done today."
Pederson added that the Eagles have a quick turnaround following Sunday's game against the Lions with a Thursday night game at the Green Bay Packers on deck, which also influenced his thinking.
Injuries, though, appear to be the driving force.
Receiver DeSean Jackson is expected to miss two weeks with an abdominal strain, according to sources. Alshon Jeffery and tight end Dallas Goedert both have calf strains and could also miss Sunday's game. Those injuries push young receivers JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollins up the depth chart and could even force practice squad receiver Greg Ward into action.
Philadelphia is also down two tackles with Malik Jackson and Tim Jernigan suffering serious foot injuries in back-to-back weeks.
Then there are the "nicked up" players Pederson referenced, like tight end Zach Ertz, who was visibly in pain in the locker room Sunday night after taking a hit to the ribs late against the Atlanta Falcons. Meanwhile, star defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (foot), guard Brandon Brooks (Achilles) and cornerback Ronald Darby (ACL) are all coming off offseason surgeries.
Opting for a Wednesday walkthrough instead of practice is not unprecedented under Pederson, who went in that direction a couple times last December. But it is an unusual move for so early in the season.