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July 26, 2019

Chris Long addresses Eagles comeback fantasy: 'Exes move on, player'

As the Philadelphia Eagles get their 2019 training camp underway, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is hoping to see signs that the young players he has at defensive end can effectively round out a rotation that lost Chris Long and Michael Bennett this offseason.

The names on that list include Josh Sweat, Shareef Miller, Trayvon Hester and Bruce Hector, all of whom are looking for snaps to spell starters Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. Vinny Curry is also back in the mix. 

For a portion of this offseason, Long's status for the upcoming season was a mystery. The choice seemed to be about what kind of role he would have on the defense with Derek Barnett returning from injury. Ultimately, Long decided to retire at 34 years old, which is reasonable.

And yet many Eagles fans seem to have trouble processing that he's gone. He helped win a Super Bowl in very tangible ways, he's a humanitarian, and he's ... still retired from the NFL. 

Long entered the defensive line debate on Friday in response to a tweet about Josh Sweat, who bulked up this offseason and is looking to prove he deserves more time on the field.

Nine snaps? Was Long really only going to get nine snaps a game if he came back? Maybe he's exaggerating, but whatever role he was offered clearly did not inspire him to go through the rigors of an NFL season again. 

One fan pointed out that those nine snaps can be critical to the team's success. 

And then came the direct question everyone has wondered since Long's retirement. 

In other words, Chris Long would like Eagles fans to get over his retirement because he's not some kind of nine-snap-taking ex who's fine with taking nine snaps a game. Except maybe. He did say maybe he'll take the nine snaps if the Eagles really need them from him. 

This isn't something Eagles fans should sweat anymore. Long's parting gift is bestowing the media with a nickname for Josh Sweat.