PHILADELPHIA - Eagles coach Doug Pederson had some sharp words for linebacker Nigel Bradham, who was arrested Sunday at Miami International Airport for carrying a concealed and loaded weapon.
Bradham was released on bail and practiced with the Eagles on Monday and will continue to do so. It was Bradham’s second arrest in three months after an incident with a hotel employee in Miami Beach in July.
“Guys have got to make better decisions when they’re away from the building,” Pederson said. “I don’t know why anyone would [carry a loaded weapon at an airport]. Obviously, I don’t know all the circumstances around it. It’s a big deal to do that. Obviously, he has it registered. Listen, I have rifles and I like to hunt and do that. We just have to be smart. But it is a little surprising that he carried it.”
Pederson said he doesn’t plan to discipline Bradham at this time because it’s a legal matter and he’s waiting to see if the NFL will do anything.
That means Pederson expects Bradham to play this Sunday when the Eagles face the Detroit Lions. He was asked at what point he would intervene and impose discipline.
“To me, it’s a fine line,” Pederson said. “I can talk to him until I’m blue in the face. I could sit him down. I could suspend him. I could do a lot of different things. But at the same time, because it’s a legal matter, and the league can step in in these situations. Until I get all the information, we go as business as usual.”
Bradham was scheduled to have a hearing Wednesday for his first arrest. He was not required to attend.
In other news:
*Pederson said he expects right tackle Lane Johnson to be eligible to play Sunday against the Lions. Johnson was in New York on Tuesday to appeal his 10-game suspension for using a performance enhancing substance. That’s an indication that the Eagles don’t expect a decision to be made this week. In the meantime, Pederson said it’s possible that rookie fifth-round pick Halapoulivaatai Vaitai could replace Johnson when or if he’s suspended.
The original plan was for left guard Allen Barbre to move to right tackle and Stefen Wisniewski to play left guard. But Pederson Vaitai has played well in practice and that using him is a consideration because it disrupts one position rather than two.
*Pederson said there are no injuries to report. That means that tight end Zach Ertz (ribs) and cornerback Leodis McKelvin (hamstring), who missed the previous two games with their injuries, are practicing fully and expected to play Sunday. That also includes running back Ryan Mathews, who left in the first quarter of the game against the Steelers with an ankle injury. Pederson said there’s still “a little soreness” but he expects Mathews to play. Offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo is also healed from his pectoral muscle injury.