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June 09, 2017

Jordan Matthews' absence from spring practices is interesting

Eagles NFL

There may not be a player on the Philadelphia Eagles' roster who genuinely likes practicing more than wide receiver Jordan Matthews. Back in his rookie season, he was so gung-ho during practice, that he used to sprint the length of the field to the end zone after every rep, to the point where the added extra effort became a small disruption to practice that even Chip Kelly told him to chill out a bit. 

And yet, when the Eagles break from OTAs on Friday, Matthews will have missed the last two sets of OTA practices, seven in total, with knee tendinitis. He did participate in at least one practice during the Eagles' first round of OTAs from May 23-25.

Last week, Doug Pederson characterized Matthews' absence as "precautionary." On Thursday, Pederson was asked (A) if the injury was a little more serious than he thought it was a week ago, and (B) if this were the regular season, would he be practicing now?

"Physically he's fine," Pederson said. "Again, we're taking this as a one-day-at-a-time approach. We've still got a long way before we play games. He's doing everything in his power, and working with [Eagles director of sports medicine/head athletic trainer Chris] Peduzzi and our docs to get ready. He'll be fine heading into training camp.

"If this was the regular season, Jordan would be fine. He'd be able to go. It's just we're not playing games [right now]. I understand what Jordan can do and his impact to the team and his relationship with Carson. I get all that. But listen, I want our guys healthy for July and August, and obviously, September. So I'm not concerned with Jordan and where he's at. Just can't wait to get him back out there."

Pederson was also non-committal on whether Matthews would be ready to practice next week during a three-day minicamp next week, concluding on June 15.

"There is a chance," he said. "We've got to see where he's at. Again, he's day-to-day with that. Just understand that I don't want to push anybody or rush anybody back out there."

Speaking to reporters, Matthews said that he could not talk about specifics with his injury, but that there was no cause for concern.

Earlier this offseason, Matthews was the subject of trade rumors, and that was before the Eagles added Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in free agency, and then Mack Hollins, Donnel Pumphrey (who has gotten a lot of looks in the slot), and Shelton Gibson in the draft.

If indeed Matthews misses the Eagles' minicamp next week, he will have missed close to three weeks on a "precautionary" injury, and will not practice again until training camp begins at the end of July. 

(This is where I would add the thinky guy emoji if this article were a long text message.)

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