One thing you didn't hear much about in the Eagles' locker room this week is the fact that the Birds have their annual bye next week.

Most players are well enough versed in the conventions of the NFL to know that you don't acknowledge you're looking forward to a break when you still have a game to play before the break arrives.

Wideout Jason Avant went so far as to proclaim he has made no bye-week travel plans, because he doesn't know what the practice schedule might be.

Avant has been here since 2006. If Andy Reid has held a practice during the bye week at any point in the past six years, I sure don't remember it. Avant said he did remember one, wasn't sure what year it occurred. Under the current collective bargaining agreement, players must have at least four successive bye week days off, including Saturday.

"I'm not really looking forward to the break, I'm trying to get to 4-2," Avant said Friday.

The only Eagle who acknowledged the looming bye might be a bit of a distraction was the corner who always marches to his own drummer, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

"It's a danger. It is tough, because you're going home," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "You've been out here, five weeks of hard football, some of us are thinking about going home, but more important, you got to get that win, you got to get that game in."

Rodgers-Cromartie said he'll be heading home to Florida, "take all that time off, just relax, give my body a break."

Tight end Brent Celek said focusing for the pre-bye game "isn't tough at all."

"Going into the bye week,, you want to win, you want to have a good taste in your mouth that whole week," Celek said. "Guys know how serious it is. This is a big game for our football team. There's a huge difference between being 3-3 and 4-2. If we want to go a long way, this is a big step."

Reid, 13-0 the week after the bye, is 6-7 the week before, but the Eagles have won in that situation three of the past four years. They lost six of seven going into the bye from 2001-2007.


Earlier this week, I saw Michael Vick carrying a football from the team's public relations offices to the locker room. I took a playful swipe, didn't dislodge it. Turns out I wasn't alone. Vick, who has lost five fumbles in five games, said Friday he carried the ball with him as a reminder much of the week, but everybody kept trying to knock it out. "They tried every time. The stakes got pretty high, and I had to put it down," Vick said.

"Breakfast, to the meetings, lunch," Vick said when asked where he'd carried the ball. "Everyione thought it was funny, but I didn't. That's how much I care about this team and that's how much I care about our success and winning on Sundays. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that I take care of my responsibilities."


Asked Friday about DeSean Jackson returning punts this week, Andy Reid said: "We'll see. We'll see how that goes. That's not necessarily where I'm at right this moment."

Reid said Riley Copper has been inactive so far because of his healing broken collarbone, not because Reid feels other WRs have bypassed Cooper.