The shoulder discomfort that Donovan McNabb has been experiencing now has a name. It's tendinitis.
And even though coach Andy Reid said last month that it wasn't a problem, it will keep the Eagles' starting quarterback from practicing for the remainder of their camp, which concludes tomorrow.
"Donovan has slight tendinitis in his shoulder, very similar to what he had in 2004," Reid said yesterday after another workout in the scorching heat at the NovaCare Complex. "We're going to back off him, just like we did in 2004, and he should be ready for training camp.
"There's no surgery. There should be no repercussions from it. He'll just get treatment for about two weeks here and then he'll be ready to go."
It's true that McNabb had shoulder soreness at the same camp in 2004 and it's also true that the problem did not linger into training camp. McNabb had the best season of his career that year, establishing career highs with 3,875 passing yards, 31 touchdown passes, a 104.7 passer rating, and a 64.0 completion percentage while leading the team to the NFC championship and a Super Bowl appearance.
This problem, however, has lingered considerably longer than it did in 2004. Four years ago today, McNabb was held out of the final day of this same camp and Reid conceded that his quarterback had "a little soreness in his shoulder."
It was a story overshadowed by Reid's declaration that he would wear tights if wide receiver Terrell Owens scored 15 touchdowns in his first season with the team. (Owens didn't.)
Once training camp started, McNabb was fine.
Reid believes that the same scenario will play out, but McNabb's reluctance to talk about the discomfort creates suspicion. The quarterback declined to be interviewed after watching Kevin Kolb run the first-team offense yesterday.
McNabb said Monday that he wasn't concerned because "I know it will get better." When pressed, however, he didn't want to elaborate.
McNabb had discomfort in his shoulder at the end of the post-draft camp last month, when the Eagles shut him down during the final workout, but Reid denied there was any problem.
"We've been charting Donovan's throws," Reid said. "When you go with the first group, you have a tendency to get up there in numbers. We'd reached our numbers and we were done."
Asked whether there was a problem with McNabb, Reid said there was not, but that obviously wasn't the case.
"It was bothering him slightly in that first camp and then it just progressed during this camp," the coach said yesterday.
Reid said that the tendinitis wasn't "a big deal" and that McNabb could have played with the problem if this were the regular season.
Kolb, however, said it was clear that McNabb wasn't himself because of the shoulder problem.
"Oh, yeah," the second-year quarterback said. "He's got a lot of zip, and when he doesn't have it, you know something is up. It was pretty evident."
Reid said McNabb would be fine after "rest and rehab." He said McNabb still would return to Phoenix before the start of training camp next month at Lehigh University.
"He's going to finish this week up rehabbing, then he'll get a little bit [of rehabilitation] next week and then he can go back" to Phoenix, the coach said.
According to Reid, McNabb should be able to throw the football before training camp. McNabb, as he does every year, invited some of his teammates to Phoenix to work out with him. He typically works with his receivers.
With McNabb sidelined, Kolb has enjoyed the opportunity to work with the first-team offense. He looked sharp in doing so yesterday as the scout teams gave the starters a look at the Dallas Cowboys' offensive and defensive schemes.
"It's a huge benefit," Kolb said. "Not only do you get the reps against the D, you also get to work with the first offense, and that's huge for me. I don't get to do that very often."
Kolb, who has been elevated from the No. 3 to the No. 2 quarterback in his second season, said he thought he could do the job as the starter if called upon.
"I'd be ready," he said. "I feel like I'd be ready. You do your best to stay ready, and hopefully that opportunity doesn't come because Donovan will stay healthy. But if it does, this time will help me."
Kolb, like Reid and McNabb, believes that the starting quarterback will be ready to throw next month.
"I don't think there's any concern at all," Kolb said. "I think he'll be back by training camp with no worries. We've got a good break coming up here. He'll get to rest . . . and be ready to roll."
Sandusky promoted. The Eagles have promoted Jon Sandusky to director of pro personnel, a position previously held by Scott Cohen, who left to become an assistant general manager of the New York Jets.
Sandusky, 31, is in his eighth season with the Eagles, and spent the previous six seasons as a pro scout. He is the son of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and played safety and on special teams for the Nittany Lions from 1996 to 1999.
Louis Riddick, fired last month as director of pro personnel of the Washington Redskins, was hired as a pro scout by the Eagles. The Quakertown native spent seven seasons in Washington, including the last three as director of pro personnel.
He also spent seven seasons in the NFL as a safety with Atlanta, Cleveland and Oakland. Riddick, 39, also played at Pennridge High School and the University of Pittsburgh.
Extra points. Safety Asante Samuel and wide receiver DeSean Jackson remained sidelined by hamstring injuries yesterday. Wide receiver Jason Avant did not practice because of an undisclosed injury. Guard Shawn Andrews was excused from a third consecutive practice for personal reasons. . . . Safety Brian Dawkins will be honored by the American Diabetes Association tomorrow as one of four fathers of the year.
Here is the schedule for the Eagles' training camp at Lehigh University:
July 21: 5 p.m. Rookies and selected vets report.
July 22: 8:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. practices.
July 23: 8:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. practices.
July 24: 8:45 a.m. practice. Remaining vets report.
July 25: 3:30 p.m. practice closed to fans.
July 26: 8:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. practices.
July 27: 8:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. practices.
July 28: 8:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. practices.
July 29: 8:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. practices.
July 30: 8:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. practices.
July 31: 8:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. practices.
Aug. 1: 8:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. practices.
Aug. 2: 8:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. practices.
Aug. 3: 8:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. practices.
Aug. 4: 8:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. practices.
Aug. 5: 8:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. practices.
Aug. 6: 8:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. practices.
Aug. 7: 10 a.m. practice and mock game closed to fans. Team departs for Pittsburgh.
Aug. 8: Eagles at Pittsburgh preseason game, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 9: Players' day off.
Aug. 10: 8:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. practices.
Aug. 11: 8:15 a.m. and 2 p.m. practices.
Aug. 12: 8:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. practices.
Aug. 13: 8:30 a.m. practice and mock game closed to fans. Team breaks camp.
Aug. 14: Eagles vs. Carolina preseason game, Lincoln Financial Field, 8 p.m.
Aug. 15: Players' day off.
Aug. 16: Training camp resumes at NovaCare Complex. EndText