According to the Eagles' injury report,
fully participated in practice yesterday, but there still seems to be some question about whether the Pro Bowl cornerback is healthy.
Sheppard left Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks in the third quarter, when he aggravated the left-knee injury that caused him to miss four games earlier this season. At one point in the quarter, he got an earful from defensive coordinator Jim Johnson on the sideline. Johnson was reluctant to talk about the issue yesterday.
"He was hurt, and I took him out and put Will [James] in," he said. "He felt he was a little banged up, so we went with Will. It was more of a slight injury."
Johnson did not rule out that it could happen again Sunday, when the Eagles play the New York Giants in a must-win game at Lincoln Financial Field.
He was asked if he thought Sheppard was injury-prone because he had missed 14 games in the last three seasons with injuries.
"I don't think so," Johnson said. "He's got so much athletic ability. He's not a real physical-type guy. He's a cover corner. He does get banged up sometimes. Sometimes he just has to fight through it. I think, mentally, he thinks he has to be full-go, which you do sometimes when you're a corner and you have to cover people downfield. I think it's frustrating for him, but I don't think he's injury-prone that much."
"I think we're just taking it easy and making sure I am fine for game day," Sheppard said. "I don't want to do anything to reaggravate what's going on or make anything worse before Sunday, so I can do what I need to do. . . . It's not about playing at a level. It's about my health. If I'm not able to continue at a healthy pace, then I'm not going to be out there."
Johnson said veteran defensive tackle
Kimo von Oelhoffen
would dress for a second straight game Sunday because he played so well against Seattle. Before that game, von Oelhoffen had not been activated since Sept. 23 against Detroit.
"Kimo did an excellent job against the run, and he's a very physical player," Johnson said.
He said von Oelhoffen would rotate with starters Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley. Von Oelhoffen got his first start with the Eagles against Seattle because Bunkley was out with a sprained knee ligament.
A 14-year veteran, von Oelhoffen said it was nice to get back into a game.
"The hardest part is letting somebody block you every day on the scout team," he said. "That's the only thing about this whole situation that gets me. I've got to let this guy block me. So when you get an opportunity to go out there and be able to go full speed, oh, it's lovely. It's just lovely."
Sunday's halftime festivities will feature a tribute to running back
, who will officially retire as a member of the Eagles. Staley, a third-round draft choice by the Birds in 1997, played in 98 games with the Eagles and ranks third in team history with 4,807 career rushing yards. He left in 2004 as a free agent and signed with the Steelers, where he played his final two seasons. Staley won a Super Bowl with Pittsburgh in 2005. . . . Running back
(knee) sat out of practice a second straight day as the Eagles worked indoors because the outdoor fields were covered in snow.
- Bob Brookover