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It isn’t Jim Schwartz’s favorite tool, but Eagles' Jalen Mills likes to blitz when opportunity knocks

Mills, a safety these days, enjoyed getting after Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and looks for more chances.

Jalen Mills, blitzing, hits Giants quarterback Daniel Jones as Jones releases a pass last Thursday.
Jalen Mills, blitzing, hits Giants quarterback Daniel Jones as Jones releases a pass last Thursday.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

Jalen Mills has played for Jim Schwartz since they both arrived in 2016, so Mills has not gotten to do a whole lot of blitzing. Schwartz’s system is predicated on getting pressure with just four pass-rushers, most of the time. Sometimes, circumstances change that. One such time was last Thursday against the Giants, when Mills, playing safety, blitzed young quarterback Daniel Jones more than a few times.

“I love it,” Mills said Wednesday. “I’m an aggressive guy, and I love when I hear Schwartz call me on a blitz. ... I feel like I’m going to be the guy, if not to get a sack, disrupt that pocket, get that quarterback out of the pocket, to where he’s a little bit [disconcerted], and he has to make a little bit quicker decision than what he wanted to. I’m all for that.”

Mills said he works on being better at rushing the passer.

“Going down there with the D-line anytime I’ve got free time, before practice, during practice, even after practice, trying to work D-line moves, knowing that these guards and tackles and even some of these big tight ends, they got long arms and they’re going to put their hands on me, but I got to use my ability, which is my speed and my quickness, to get around 'em.”

Alshon’s still out

There has been intrigue around the status of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who has been kept on the 53-man roster all season and has been practicing on a limited basis for several weeks. Doug Pederson confirmed that Jeffery’s foot injury, which required surgery last December, is healed, but he said Jeffery suffered a calf injury in practice and is being held back by that. Pederson said Jeffery is day to day. He did not practice Wednesday. Pederson said he will play when he is ready to do so.

Jalen Reagor (thumb) returned to practice, as did Dallas Goedert (ankle). Linebacker T.J. Edwards (hamstring) is back, which might be important because Nate Gerry sat out practice with an ankle problem. Also missing was running back Miles Sanders (knee), who is considered “day to day,” Pederson said. Defensive tackle Malik Jackson (quad) was a limited practice participant. Safety K’Von Wallace (neck) was a full participant.

Kelce faces up to ‘dumb’ penalty

Jason Kelce didn’t realize what he’d done until he looked down at his left hand and discovered a helmet lodged there.

One play before Carson Wentz found Boston Scott for the touchdown that beat the Giants, 22-21, last Thursday, Eagles center Kelce drew a 15-yard face mask penalty, on the Giants' 3-yard line.

As was revealed by a video released by the team of Scott mic’d up, Kelce ran over to the running back after his score and shouted, “I owe your [butt] big-time.”

When asked Wednesday about the penalty and the ensuing exchange, Kelce appeared to still have not forgiven himself.

“We were really fired up. We were putting together a tremendous drive,” Kelce said. “It was a terrible penalty. I obviously wasn’t trying to do it. My hand got caught up. He did a good job of lifting my hand up. I got it into the face mask. I didn’t even know I had his helmet until I looked down and it was literally in my hand. One of the all-time dumb penalties I’ve had in my career.”

» READ MORE: Rodney McLeod is emerging from Malcolm Jenkins’ shadow as the leader of the Eagles' defensive backfield

The penalty pushed the Eagles back to the 18-yard line with 46 seconds left in the game. Kelce said he returned to the huddle all apologies.

“I came back to the huddle and said, ‘Hopefully somebody can make this right. Sorry, guys,’ ” Kelce said.