Despite being fully vaccinated, Eagles linebacker Alex Singleton tested positive for COVID-19 upon his arrival to training camp. That meant the team’s leading tackler from last year had to be sent home, causing a slight hurdle to his preparations for the upcoming season.
Thankfully for Singleton, his symptoms were mild, which allowed him to still train. He didn’t have access to the team’s facilities, so Singleton improvised.
The third-year linebacker bought dumbbells and kettlebells and looked up workouts on YouTube. Perhaps his most creative improvisation was creating a cardio exercise that consisted of him sprinting down a hallway.
“I feel 100%,” Singleton said before Sunday’s practice at Lincoln Financial Field. “I felt 100% really the whole time. I had little symptoms. I felt pretty good. Being quarantined, I had to figure out how to run in my house.”
Exactly how long was the spontaneous track he created?
“It’s 11 yards,” he said. “But the wall comes real quick.”
When Singleton wasn’t working out or recovering, he attended virtual meetings via Zoom and also watched practices through a livestream link on his iPad.
“Mentally, I was able to stay completely in it,” he said.
The team happily welcomed back Singleton this weekend. During his first practice Saturday, he flashed quick twitch and burst during special teams drills. On Sunday, he was rolled out with the first-team defense and it seemed he didn’t miss a beat. He helped stuff several rushes up the middle and also notched a few solo tackles on running back Miles Sanders.
“I feel like I didn’t miss any days,” Singleton said. “I would say I’m in decent shape. With eight days off, my legs are a little bit fresher than others in the building.”
Singleton, 27, became a starter in Week 6 of the 2020 season, and took off with his opportunity. He led the team with 119 tackles, including 87 solo stops, the most by an Eagles linebacker since DeMeco Ryans in 2013. Singleton recorded his first interception — a pick-six — against 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens, who coincidentally signed with the Eagles in the offseason.
“It’s good to have him out there, and we felt him out there the other day in practice,” coach Nick Sirianni said of Singleton. “I felt his experience. I felt his playmaking ability.”
When camp started July 27, general manager Howie Roseman said more than 90% of the team had already gotten at least one shot of the vaccine.
“All we’re trying to do is educate them,” Roseman said. “We understand it’s a very personal decision. They’re doing a great job with it, as is our medical team. We continue to give information to the other guys.”
While Singleton’s bout with COVID-19 was brief, he still vows to take existing protocols seriously because of his family and interactions with his older sister, Ashley, who has Down syndrome.
“I’ve always taken it pretty serious,” Singleton said. “I don’t know any of the science, but you never know how her immune system would react to it, so me and my family have always taken it very serious. I would just say everybody protect everybody. I just listen to what I’m told here in the building by the doctors because I trust them completely.”