The Eagles’ cornerback crisis could be easing soon, as Jalen Mills becomes eligible to return to practice after starting the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
After practice Thursday, the green-haired defensive back said he felt good and had no physical restrictions in his rehabilitation from a foot injury suffered last season. He said he was deferring to the training staff’s judgment, but he feels ready to return.
“It’s really about the doctor and what they say,” Mills said. “They tell me what I can and can’t do. Just sticking to the plan, they’ve been having a great plan for me so far and I feel good now, so whatever he says I can and can’t do, I’ll follow.”
Mills, 25, is eligible to return to the 53-man roster and come off the PUP list next week. He was put on the list at the start of training camp.
Mills said last month that he didn’t have a Lisfranc fracture or sprain, disputing a report that emerged over the summer. He said he “just had a bad foot sprain,” and on Thursday he declined to disclose exactly what the injury is.
Mills hasn’t been able to practice with the team while recovering, but he has been doing on-field rehab work during practices since training camp. He said he had no physical limitations at this point.
“I’m running good. I can’t give you an exact date of when I started running, but start to now, I’m running a lot better,” Mills said. “I don’t have any restrictions."
The Eagles’ cornerback room has been rocked by injury for the second season in a row. The team is without Mills, Avonte Maddox (head and neck), Ronald Darby (hamstring), and Cre’Von LeBlanc (foot). Sidney Jones is working his way back from a hamstring injury that held him out last week, but he was a full participant in practice this week.
“It’s tough not being out there, not being out there to at least play with my guys, it’s always hard,” Mills said.
Coach Doug Pederson might be searching for a punt returner come Sunday.
Eagles running back Corey Clement, filling in for Darren Sproles as he recovers from a quadriceps injury, missed the last two practices with a bad shoulder.
When asked who will return punts for the Eagles, Pederson suggested the reporter asking the question might need to fill in.
“We’re going to work a couple guys there this week,” Pederson said. He later added that he knows who will be back there, but he didn’t reveal the name.