Cody Parkey is often the first Eagles player to take the field for practice.
Specialists are frequently the earliest, but the rookie kicker is a solitary figure on most days. He stretches, visualizes his kicks, or just soaks in the air. It's a process Parkey said he first honed at Auburn.
"I'm either sitting in my chair, texting maybe," Parkey said, "or I'm out there getting better."
Special teams coordinator Dave Fipp will sometimes join his kicker as he gets a few early kicks in before the rest of the team arrives, but Parkey didn't put foot to leather at any time during the first three practices this week. He has a groin injury and was listed as probable on Friday's injury report.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly said on Thursday that Parkey would be "100 percent in terms of being ready to go on Sunday," but the groin was obviously an issue in the last two games and will bear close monitoring when the Eagles host the Seahawks.
Parkey, who leads the NFL in points, said he first felt the injury during warm-ups before the Titans game on Nov. 23.
"I kicked the whole game," Parkey said Thursday. "It hurt, but it was nothing I couldn't kick through. And then we had the short week in Dallas. But this week we really got after it and I should be good to go Sunday."
While Parkey missed his first field goal in 17 tries against Tennessee - a 49-yarder - he still connected on five other attempts and was 4 for 4 in the Cowboys game four days later. But the groin clearly affected his kickoffs.
In the first 10 games, 53 of Parkey's 60 kickoffs (88.3 percent) reached the end zone and 36 (60 pct.) were touchbacks. While 83.3 pct. (15 of 18) traveled into the end zone over the last two games, only 27.7 pct. (5 of 18) have been touchbacks.
Despite kicking indoors in Dallas, Parkey booted just two touchbacks on eight kickoffs. Kelly said Parkey's groin "kind of flared up" on game day.
Parkey kicked in 14 games last season at Auburn, but he had a monthlong break in between the SEC championship and the national championship. He said that kicking as much as he ever has this year could have factored into his injury.
"This is the longest season of your life," Parkey said. "We played the last possible game on Jan. 10 [for Auburn]. I played in the Senior Bowl. And then you get ready for pro day and [spring practices].
"So you really don't have more than a week off for a year and a half. That's a lot of kicking. Whether that has anything to do with it, who knows? But I definitely think it's a long season."
It's been a remarkable first season, though. Parkey's league-leading 123 points may partially be a by-product of the Eagles' red zone inefficiency, but he hasn't missed many field goal opportunities. His 93.3 success rate (27 of 29) is fourth best in the NFL. He has only two in the 40- to 49-yard range, but he's already booted four from 50 yards or longer.
Alex Henery, his predecessor, connected on just two 50-yard-plus attempts in three seasons with the Eagles.
"I'm just doing my job right now and going with the flow," Parkey said. "That's a cool accomplishment, but by no means is that the goal."
Parkey, acquired in a trade with the Colts just before the Eagles' third preseason game, beat out Henery for the job. It could also be said that Henery lost it. He was on thin ice before training camp, having kicked touchbacks on just 17 percent of kickoffs over the Eagles' final six games last season, including a playoff loss to the Saints.
Henery also missed a 48-yard field goal try in the Saints game. And when it came time to produce in the preseason, he missed 47- and 31-yard attempts. Parkey nailed 54- and 53-yarders in the preseason finale and that was the end of Henery's tenure.
Kelly has said a number of times that he has been impressed with Parkey's approach to kicking and that he doesn't feel the need to worry about the rookie. Kickers generally coach themselves, even at the NFL level.
He conceded that kicking in December will test his leg, but he said he's mentally prepared to face those challenges.
"For the most part, I think I'm really detailed," Parkey said. "If I miss a kick I know what I did and I know how to fix it."
He hasn't missed many.
Practice report. Tight end Trey Burton (hamstring) was listed as questionable. . . . Running back LeSean McCoy missed practice for a personal reason, the Eagles said.
Lots of viewers. The Eagles-Cowboys Thanksgiving game was the most-watched television program so far during the fall season, the NFL announced Friday. It drew over 32 million viewers.