After catching a touchdown in last week's win over Buffalo, Nelson Agholor flipped the football to the referee. It was his first NFL score. The Eagles rookie wide receiver could have had the ball stashed in his locker by an equipment manager. Perhaps, Agholor would then display it on his mantle.
Instead, he said he had no interest in doing that. He has never been one to save footballs. After the game, when the ball happened to be returned to him, Agholor gave it to a young fan.
"It's just how it is," Agholor said. "I'm about winning football games and playing hard. That's all I care about."
The first touchdown was special, Agholor said, only because it came during a win. And the Eagles hope that his touchdown is the first of many. The 22-year-old is finally looking to regain his form after battling a left ankle injury for the last two months.
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said Agholor was "dragging around a bad ankle." The rookie missed three games after injuring the ankle on Oct. 11. He hauled in three passes against Buffalo, highlighted by the 53-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
"It wasn't fun, that's all I can say," Agholor said about his ankle injury. "But, at the end of the day, I'm just happy I am where I am right now."
Agholor looked healthy as he used his speed to create separation from the safety on a post route. The receiver caught Sam Bradford's pass in stride and glided into the end zone.
"Only thing bad about that play was the celebration at the end," Shurmur said, as Agholor ran wildly through the end zone. "I wasn't quite sure what that was."
Agholor and the rest of the receiving unit will be well tested on Sunday night by a stiff Arizona secondary. The Cardinals are the sixth-toughest defense against wide receivers this season. They have yielded just two touchdowns to the position over the last five weeks.
Free safety Tyrann Mathieu was last month's NFC's defensive player of the month. Cornerback Patrick Peterson is looking to go to his fifth-straight Pro Bowl. Cornerback Jerraud Powers is determined to play for the first time since Week 12. And if Rashad Johnson is unable to play, the Cardinals can plug in hard-hitting D.J. Swearinger at strong safety.
The challenge could prove a great test for Agholor as he moves further away from his injury. Shurmur said the receiver is steadily getting better and playing with "smoothness" that he lacked before. But, Shurmur said, it is still hard to say, "Well, he's going to have a breakout game."
"Whatever a breakout game looks like to somebody else, if we get a win, I'll consider that a breakout game," Agholor said. "That's all I care about is winning football games."
Injury update. All Eagles on the injury report were listed as probable.