THOUGH EAGLES coach Andy Reid later tried to sound a more cautious note, wideout Jeremy Maclin said he plans to practice tomorrow and return to the lineup Sunday, when the Birds visit Miami.

Maclin said he was "being cautious" when he didn't take part in yesterday's brief practice.

"It's been tough, man. Other than my freshman year in college, when I tore my ACL, this is the most time I've ever missed," said Maclin, who suffered hamstring and shoulder injuries Nov. 13 vs. the Cardinals. "I tried to come back once [before the New England game] and it just wasn't ready . . . I feel pretty good [now]."

On his weekly 94 WIP radio show yesterday, Reid said: "There's a chance Jeremy's back for this game. He'll tell you he's going to be back, but we'll see. We'll just see how he does in practice . . . In his mind, he's going to play, and we've just got to ease him back into it" to avoid reinjury.

The bigger news was quarterback Michael Vick's return to practice. Reid said Vick "looked smooth," and was able to throw the ball with torque, which Reid didn't think was the case a week ago.

Reid said corner Nnamdi Asomugha practiced yesterday after leaving the Seattle game with a concussion and a stinger. "He was cleared with the concussion," Reid said, adding that the same was true for offensive tackle King Dunlap, who also practiced yesterday.

Keeping score at home

Jeremy Maclin said he never believed the NFL Network's interpretation of what was going on Thursday night with fellow wideout DeSean Jackson. Andy Reid criticized the network for inferring that Jackson was not paying attention when quarterback Vince Young was talking to him on the sideline - Reid said Young actually was talking to Riley Cooper - and for what he said was a mischaracterization of Jackson's attitude.

"I don't think they understood exactly what was going on," Maclin said. "I think everybody was kind of assuming things, just because of whatever's going on with him . . . Nine times out of 10, probably 10 times out of 10, if somebody you're playing with's talking, you pay attention. I honestly don't think Vince was talking to him . . . He was kind of looking over [Jackson], talking to somebody else."

Maclin said that watching at home, he thought, "I highly doubt he's talking to DeSean there, but that's what they made it seem like."

Taxing situation

The New York City Finance Department says the Eagles owe $15,263.69 in business taxes, according to the New York Daily News. An Eagles spokesman said the figure related to taxes paid by NFL Ventures on behalf of the league's 32 teams. He said the city made a bookkeeping error in not crediting the Eagles for the payment and that the team has brought the error to the city's attention several times.

Birdseed

The Eagles signed former Bengals safety Tom Nelson to take the place of special-teams ace Colt Anderson, who tore an ACL at Seattle. "Good speed and toughness. [Nelson]'s kind of a tweener sizewise between a corner and a safety," Andy Reid said on his radio show yesterday. Reid was reluctant to be drawn into a debate over Dallas coach Jason Garrett's decision to call timeout, negating his own kicker's ensuing game-winning field goal. The kicker then missed. "I'm not into questioning coaches. I'm in no position to do that right now," Reid said . . . Reid talked of how young the Eagles are "down the middle of our defense" . . . Asked about not calling timeout to maximize the final possession before the half in Seattle, Reid said: "There's a point when you want to regroup. That's the point I was at."