Ryan Mathews returned to practice on Tuesday after missing three games with a concussion. Now that he's through the league-mandate concussion protocol, Mathews could be back in the lineup on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
"I'm feeling good," Mathews told reporters. "Just need to take it day-by-day. I'm really optimistic about [playing]."
Mathews said the "training staff was on it" when asked about the duration of the concussion. He said he must adjust to the speed of the game after missing so much time.
With Mathews healthy, the Eagles' backfield becomes even more crowded. Mathews averages 5.7 yards per carry and has five touchdowns this season.
Missing in action
The Eagles missed left tackle Lane Johnson, defensive tackle Bennie Logan, and cornerback Eric Rowe at practice on Tuesday.
Johnson said he has an AC sprain in his left shoulder. He expects to return to practice on Wednesday. The injury occurred during the Thanksgiving loss to the Detroit Lions. He played Sunday with the help of a pain-numbing shot before the game.
There's no word on the injury to Logan, although he had a knee injury before the Patriots game. Rowe's injury is also unknown. The Eagles do not need to release an injury report until Wednesday.
LB Means signed
The Eagles signed linebacker Steven Means off of the Houston Texans practice squad on Tuesday. Means takes the roster spot that opened after the team released Miles Austin.
Means, who is 6-foot-3 and 263 pounds, played college football at Buffalo. The 25-year-old was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He also spent time with the Baltimore Ravens.
Means worked out for the Eagles in October. By signing Means now, the Eagles will have him on the roster entering the offseason, when he can develop in their system.
"Definitively well aware [of that], still want to come here and contribute for the rest of this year, practice as hard as I can, maybe show them what I can do for next year," Means said.
When asked why it did not work out with Austin, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said the Eagles wanted to give others an opportunity.
"Some of the other guys we have on the roster we want to see," Shurmur said. "But Miles contributed. He was a positive influence around here. We all know that there are situations when rosters change and we wish him the best."
Austin's departure likely means Jonathan Krause will continue to be active on game days for the Eagles. However, he probably won't take all of Austin's snaps.
"There will probably be a less defined rotation there but we'll try to get them all in the mix," Shurmur said. "Some of it will depend on how much we play with two tight ends, three wides. . . . We'll just have to have it reveal itself after we play Buffalo how we are going to play them."