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Eagles Practice observations: Shepherd carted off; Huff vs. Maxwell; Cowboys banner irks 43,000 fans

The Eagles held their seventh practice of training camp on Sunday. Here are some highlights and observations:

1. The Eagles announced a crowd of 43,000 for the last open workout at Lincoln Financial Field. It was Military Appreciation Day and the team did a number of things to honor U.S. armed forces. The Eagles wore special jerseys with camouflage numbers and after practice each player gave his jersey to a member of the military. Before practice, special forces personnel parachuted into the stadium. Toward the end of the national anthem, a plane carrying a banner that read, "WE STILL DEM BOYZ #SACKSCOMING" started circling the stadium. New Cowboys DE Greg Hardy apparently had a hand in funding the banner. Many in the crowd started booing after the anthem and chanted, "Dallas sucks." A few players said they weren't even aware of the banner. It was a raucous atmosphere for just a practice.

2. The one potential downer for the Eagles was that rookie CB JaCorey Shepherd left practice with an apparent right leg injury. He collided with RB Darren Sproles near the sideline and seemed to fall awkwardly. Some players thought he had a cramp at first, but it proved to be more serious and Shepherd needed to be carted off. The Eagles have high aspirations for the sixth round draft pick. His early development was one reason the Eagles felt comfortable enough to deal Brandon Boykin to the Steelers just before camp. Shepherd opened the summer as the first team slot corner and seemed to have an early edge. CB Jaylen Watkins and CB E.J. Biggers have also rotated into that spot and Watkins was with the first team on Sunday. The Eagles didn't have an update on Shepherd's injury after practice, but he is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday.

3. RB DeMarco Murray was practicing for the second straight day and did perhaps more than he has all camp. He missed Thursday's practice with an unspecified illness and has been held out of various drills since the first day. But he seemed to move with more authority than previously. During one team drill, Murray hopped through a hole, but was met by DE Fletcher Cox and the ball popped out. A play later, he darted through a crevice, but ran into DE Cedric Thornton.

4. OL Julian Vandervelde was at first team right guard for the second straight day. The rotation at that position since the start of camp has been: Matt Tobin, Andrew Gardner, Tobin, John Moffitt, Gardner, Vandervelde, Vandervelde. The job is up for grabs, but the best guess here is that Tobin will start the first preseason game in a week. The second team offensive line on Sunday was, left to right: Gardner, Tobin, David Molk, Moffitt, Dennis Kelly. The first team defensive secondary was exactly as it was at the start of camp with Byron Maxwell and Nolan Carroll at cornerback and Malcolm Jenkins and Walter Thurmond at safety. LB Kiko Alonso was still out with a concussion and CB Jerome Couplin was still sidelined after an appendectomy.

5. QB Sam Bradford once again took most of the first team reps on offense. It looked like he had another solid day, but probably not as consistent as the previous two. He tried to hit WR Josh Huff deep, but the ball didn't have enough air under it and Maxwell closed to knock it away. He threw high to TE Zach Ertz during 7 on 7s, but the ball was dropped. Ertz actually had two drops today. But he did have another Ertz Catch of the Day when he skied for a TD pass. Bradford later tried to toss a back shoulder pass to Huff during team red zone drills, but the throw was off. He went back to Huff, who made a tremendous leaping grab on a pass rifled behind him in the end zone.

6. QB Mark Sanchez' best moment came during his series with the first team. He connected with WR Riley Cooper just over the goal line with Carroll in tight coverage. Earlier, Sanchez threw to TE Trey Burton down the middle. He did a good job buying time in the pocket before finding TE Andrew Gleichert deep after he released on a corner. Sanchez and the second team offense couldn't get much going toward the end of practice during a two-minute drill.

7. The third competition waged on! QB Matt Barkley was sharp during one on ones, leading WR Rasheed Bailey on a pass over the middle and then WR Quron Pratt on a deep post. He threw one behind TE Justin Tukes. Barkley had a pass during 7 on 7s tipped into the hands of Thurmond, who notched another interception in a similar way later in practice. Barkley looked like QB Tim Tebow when he kept and ran on the zone read, but not so much when he bounced into OL Brett Boyko and fell to the turf. He had accurate tosses to Burton and Gleichert for "touchdowns" during 7 on 7 and team drills.

8. Tebow was still the fourth quarterback up during 7 on 7s. He hit the fly swatter nettings that stand in for defensive linemen for the second straight day. He underthrew a deep pass to Cooper that S Chris Maragos batted away. Tebow ran on the zone read late in practice, and looked pretty good against the air defense. The crowd went nuts.

9. It's going to take a strong push for someone to supplant Thurmond at safety. He's constantly around the ball. He had the two interceptions today. He also rushed into the backfield on one ran play, past WR Jordan Matthews and wrapped up RB Raheem Mostert. I don't know how good Thurmond will be compared to other starting safeties around the league. It's too early to say. But the Eagles seem to like him more than the other alternatives (e.g.: Earl Wolff).

10. The Huff v. Maxwell competition has been brewing all camp. Just when you think Maxwell has his number, Huff bounces back and makes a play. Maxwell swatted a Bradford corner fade to Huff during one on ones, but Huff out-muscled the corner for a catch a few plays later. One problem: Maxwell stripped the ball loose after the completion. Huff had another drop on a slant. The Bradford throw was a dart, but Huff has to make those catches. He didn't always last season. … K Cody Parkey hit one of the uprights during the early portion of field goal drills, but finished strong, connecting from 53 and 58 yards.