FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Last week, Malcolm Jenkins went back to the raised-fist protest during the national anthem, for the Eagles' preseason opener. He was joined by De'Vante Bausby, with Michael Bennett staying out of view until the anthem ended.
This week, Jenkins and Bausby stayed in the tunnel that leads from the visitors' locker room to the field at Gillette Stadium. Jenkins and Bausby then sprinted to the bench after the anthem finished. Bennett, who apparently stayed in the locker room for the anthem, walked out slowly a few minutes later.
Afterward, Jenkins was asked why he changed his "path."
"The path didn't change, same thing. It was just about where we want the focus to be," Jenkins said after the game. He said he wants the message to be about racial inequality, "and not about "whether or not the football field is the right place and time to [protest.]"
Jalen Mills did not play Thursday after leaving practice on Tuesday with an undisclosed injury. Rasul Douglas started in Mills' place.
Wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins were absent after missing practice this week. Running backs Corey Clement, Josh Adams, and Donnel Pumphrey were also sidelined, as expected. Each rusher missed practice on Tuesday.
Defensive end Brandon Graham, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, and safety Chris Maragos remain on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Defensive tackle Tim Jernigan is on the non-football injury list.
Although offensive tackle Jason Peters and running back Darren Sproles have been full participants in practice, coach Doug Pederson held both veterans out for the second consecutive week.
The NFL's new rules regarding lowering the helmet on tackles struck the Eagles again. The defense was flagged twice in the first half for the new penalty – once when Rodney McLeod tackled James White at the end of a 22-yard reception, and another time when Nigel Bradham brought down Julian Edelman.
Sidney Jones was also flagged for that penalty last week, as was tight end Richard Rodgers, on a punt. Officials tend to emphasize new rules in the preseason, but it's clearly something the Eagles must be cognizant of entering the season. Whether they agree or disagree with the calls or the rule, they will forfeit valuable yards if this extends into the regular season.
The Pats' first-round rookie offensive tackle, Isaiah Wynn, left the field on a cart in the first quarter with what was announced as an ankle injury.