MYCHAL KENDRICKS practiced fully Wednesday and seemed to think there was a good chance he will play this week at Carolina.

Kiko Alonso, Kendricks' fellow inside linebacker and off-to-the-side workout partner during practices the past few weeks, set the Nov. 8 game at Dallas as his goal, after Alonso's first limited practice since he reinjured his left knee a month ago against the Cowboys.

Kendricks was asked if he could have played, had the game been scheduled for Wednesday. "Based off today, I'd have to say yes," he said.

Kendricks missed the Sept. 27 game at the Jets after suffering a hamstring injury, then tried to play the next week against Washington but had to leave the game. He sat out the victories over New Orleans and the Giants.

Kendricks was asked whether it wouldn't be more prudent to wait for the bye week, coming up after Carolina.

"That could go either way - I play this week, then (benefit from) rest next week. Or rest this week, take the full two weeks . . . it's a day-by-day decision," Kendricks said.

Alonso has said Dr. James Andrews did an arthroscopic "cleanout" of his knee three weeks ago.

"I'll try to do more and more each day," Alonso said. "I feel good."

Inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans, who left Monday's win with a hamstring problem, did not practice Wednesday, but defensive coordinator Bill Davis indicated he expects to have Ryans for Carolina. Ryans said Monday night that he could have returned to the game if needed.

The rash of injuries to that group has given third-round rookie Jordan Hicks a big opportunity, and Hicks has made the most of it, with 35 solo tackles, by the Eagles' count, an interception, and three fumble recoveries. Hicks was credited with 10 solo tackles against the Giants.

Safety Malcolm Jenkins said yesterday: "We call DeMeco 'Mufasa' and Jordan 'Simba' . . . When DeMeco went out, I told (Hicks), 'It's your show now.' "

Alonso said: "He's played great. If he's not already, he should be in talk for rookie of the year."

Tough sledding

One reason the Eagles' defensive front is so tough, and uses its hands to such great effect, players and coaches say, is all the sled work defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro mandates.

"I've been in places where the sled is in a corner and nobody ever uses it, ever, after training camp, and it's rusty and got cobwebs on it," Bill Davis said Wednesday. "Ours won't get that way - ours break every other day because of how much they use it."

Davis noted that hitting the sled is less wearing on players than having them hit each other.

There are at least a couple of sleds in use most days. Eagles defensive linemen call the sleds "Surge" because that's the name of the spring-action pad they aim at. Like Kenny on "South Park," Surge gets killed a lot - on Wednesday, by Taylor Hart.

Hart said there's a pin that controls the spring mechanism, which breaks. He said he felt his hit Wednesday just finished what others had started.

"Everyone's hitting it. (The honor) just happened to fall on me today," he said.


Michigan alum Brandon Graham said he has recovered from the Wolverines' botched-punt, last-play loss to Michigan State on Saturday, but it wasn't easy.

He said his wife, Carlyne, who is not a Michigan alum, took out her phone and actually recorded him in the throes of agony, as he watched victory turn to defeat in 10 seconds that will live in Big House infamy.

"I was like, 'Is this game over?' " Graham said. "Aw, I was so hurt, man. That one hurt me. I was ready to cry. The wife ended up filming me; I'm ready to cuss her out. I'm like, 'Don't do that! You don't understand!' "

Then, the next day, teammate Bennie Logan tweeted, facetiously asking for someone to "check on" Graham to see if he was OK. Teammates wanting to kid him had to hit a moving target.

"I was hiding out in the meeting room," Graham said.

He said he now takes the long view - despite the final play, Michigan under first-year coach Jim Harbaugh matched up with Michigan State much better than in recent years.

"Michigan's back, baby!" Graham announced, to a still-amused locker room.


Wide receivers Nelson Agholor (ankle) and Riley Cooper (knee) did not practice . . . Defensive lineman Brandon Bair (groin) was limited . . . Carolina receiver Corey "Philly" Brown is a Cardinal O'Hara alum who got his nickname at Ohio State. He tried to shed it this spring and go back to Corey, but he struggled in training camp and eventually abandoned the effort in attempt to turn around his luck. Carolina coach Ron Rivera, once an Eagles assistant, said Wednesday: "Corey, he's a nice kid. Philly, he's a tough kid . . . He's a tough kid, he really is. He wears that 'Philly' moniker very well." Brown has started all five Panthers games this season. He has eight catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.