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Eagles' Sheppard a no-show

Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard did not attend the first of the team's practices this week. The sessions, which continue through Friday, are voluntary so Sheppard cannot be fined for not attending.

Cornerback Lito Sheppard was not on the field as the Eagles began the first session of their organized team activities this afternoon.

The sessions, which continue through Friday, are voluntary so Sheppard cannot be fined for not attending. They continue with four days next week. Sheppard could sit out these sessions and still attend training camp, which he would be fined for missing.

As has been well-documented, Sheppard is upset with his contract and also with having lost his starting job to free-agent signee Asante Samuel, the Eagles' most significant offseason addition.

Sheppard's agent Peter Schaffer declined to comment when contacted by the Daily News regarding Sheppard's status.

Backup offensive tackle Scott Young also was a no-show.

Eagles coach Andy Reid said he was not surprised by either player's absence, saying their agents had been in contact with the team. Asked specifically about Sheppard, Reid said, "That's his decision."

"The guys that are here are getting extra practice time," Reid said, perhaps indicating that both players might have put themselves in jeopardy -- Sheppard in terms of starting ahead of Sheldon Brown and Young in terms of making the roster.

Reid, however, did note that he "appreciated the attendance" and was going to "concentrate on the guys that are here," adding "99 percent of the team is here and working."

The only mandatory sessions for veterans was a three-day minicamp last month and Sheppard attended all the workouts.

Cornerback Sheldon Brown said he has been working out with Sheppard and said he did not know in advance whether Sheppard would take part. Brown also noted that these sessions are optional.

Asked whether he expected to see Sheppard at Lehigh, Brown said, "Oh, yeah," indicating that was because players can be fined for missing training camp.

The Eagles have insisted that a three-cornerback rotation with Sheppard, Brown and Samuel can work. Sheppard was not concerned about that, however, when he spoke to reporters at the end of the last minicamp.

"That's not for me to worry about, man, I just play football," Sheppard said. Asked whether the rotation in minicamp matched his expectations, Sheppard said: "I don't have any expectations. Like I said, I just play football. "