Pederson: Nick Foles to start in Eagles opener

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson has announced that Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles will start in Thursday's opener against the Atlanta Falcons. Carson Wentz still hasn't been medically cleared for contact.

Wentz is returning from surgery last December to repair two torn ligaments in his left knee. Foles was the Super Bowl MVP in Philadelphia's 41-33 win over New England.

Wentz didn't play in the preseason and only recently returned to full practice, so it seemed obvious that he would miss at least the first game.

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unning back Jay Ajayi has returned to practice after missing time. Left tackle Jason Peters and veteran returner/running back Darren Sproles are expected to play after sitting out the preseason while continuing their recovery following season-ending knee injuries last season.

Pederson isn't concerned about players being rusty.

"They've practiced," he said. "They've been in our practices. Practices are a lot tougher sometimes than games are. We've seen everything we need to see."

NOTES: The Eagles claimed LB D.J. Alexander off waivers from Seattle and released LB Joe Walker. ... The following players were signed to the practice squad: RB Josh Adams, CB De'Vante Bausby, LB Asantay Brown, TE Billy Brown, DT Winston Craig, WR Rashard Davis, DE Joe Ostman, CB Chandon Sullivan, C Jon Toth and WR Greg Ward.