Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox sat out practice with a neck injury for the second day in a row Thursday, something worth monitoring as the short week of preparation zips past, toward Sunday’s visit with the Green Bay Packers.
Perhaps more alarming was the limited practice status of cornerback Darius Slay, who suddenly showed up on the injury report Thursday with a calf problem. Since he did take part in practice, it seems likely Slay will still face the Packers and star wide receiver Davante Adams, but that assignment would be hard enough on healthy legs. Adams has 11 touchdowns among his 74 catches for 908 yards in nine games. That’s about 101 yards per game, which is a lot.
And even though tight end Zach Ertz returned to the roster from injured reserve this week, he remained a limited practice participant Thursday. Eagles coach Doug Pederson made it sound as if the Eagles were being super cautious in not activating Ertz for Monday’s game against Seattle. Now, Ertz, out since Oct. 18 with an ankle injury, might not be a lock to play against the Packers.
Linebacker T.J. Edwards also was limited with a hamstring problem.
Maddox won’t dwell on memories
Cornerback Avonte Maddox said that when he faces the Packers, his focus won’t be on how he had to leave the field on a stretcher in his previous visit, on Sept. 26, 2019.
Then-teammate Andrew Sendejo slammed into Maddox’s neck in the final seconds of the Eagles’ 34-27 victory. Craig James then played the final two snaps, James making his Eagles debut. On the second snap, James deflected an Aaron Rodgers pass at the goal line, which Nigel Bradham caught to seal the victory. Maddox didn’t see the play but listened to the crowd’s disappointment, waiting to be loaded into an ambulance. Maddox missed four games with a concussion and a neck injury.
“It’s not going to be on my mind,” Maddox said Thursday. “The only thing that’s going to be on my mind is the game. But when I first walk in, I’ll definitely thank God for still having this opportunity to play this game, because that definitely was a huge injury there. But once I’m on that field, once that whistle blows, that’s probably the last thing on my mind.”
When Miles Sanders was asked Thursday how the Eagles’ run game has remained effective through so many offensive line changes, Sanders credited offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and center Jason Kelce – the only member of the group to have started every game this season.
“Coach Stout, and you got Jason Kelce leading the ship,” Sanders said. “Because he does a heckuva job. I really wish people could see how he works in practice and calls it, because it’s like art to me. He’s very smart down there, and he’s calling everything, getting the whole offense right, and you know, we’ve been going as he’s gone.”
Kelce nominated for Rooney award
Kelce is among 32 players that have been nominated for the seventh annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. Each NFL team nominated one player for the award, which recognizes players who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field. It is named for the late founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr. The winner will be announced as part of NFL Honors, when The Associated Press reveals its individual award winners.