June 12, 2019
This time last year, the Philadelphia Eagles had a slew of players still recovering from injuries after what was a shortened offseason as a result of the Birds' Super Bowl run. That list included Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery, Darren Sproles, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Timmy Jernigan, Jordan Hicks, and Chris Maragos.
Wentz, Jeffery, Jernigan, and Maragos were still unable to play when the regular season began.
This year, that list has a similar number of names, but it is expected that the Eagles won't have as many guys missing when the regular season begins. With the first day of mandatory mini-camp in the books, let's just run through the guys who aren't full participants at the moment.
• RB Miles Sanders: Sanders participated in a rookie camp shortly after the draft, but he has otherwise missed the entirety of full-team spring practices with a nagging hamstring injury. The Eagles are right not to push him to play if he's not ready, though it's certainly not ideal for a rookie who is expected to be an immediate contributor this season to miss so many reps. He should be ready for training camp.
• RB Corey Clement: Clement continues to recover from a knee injury that ended his season last year. Here he is running on a side field during practice on Tuesday:
• WR Mack Hollins: Hollins is alive!
Hollins participated in individual drills in Eagles mini-camp on Tuesday. He did not participate in team drills. Still, that's an encouraging sign for him after a pair of sports hernia (groin) surgeries have kept him out since 2018 training camp.
• RG Brandon Brooks: Brooks is still recovering from surgery on his torn Achilles, and by all accounts, he is progressing well. At mini-camp he was working out on a side field during practice.
Brooks is unlikely to do much in training camp. The question will be whether or not he's ready for Week 1. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has been getting reps at first-team RG in his absence.
• DE Derek Barnett: Barnett is still recovering from rotator cuff surgery. There's little doubt that he should be ready for the start of the regular season. Barring setbacks, the timeline for recovery from his surgery should put him on a path to be ready for the start of training camp.
• DT Fletcher Cox: Cox has not participated at all during spring practices after having surgery on his right foot earlier this offseason. "I had a procedure done this offseason and everything is going good, so I’m happy about that," Cox said back in April. "I’m just taking it day-by-day. The goal is to be ready for training camp."
We'll see. The bet here is that Cox misses some time during training camp, which he doesn't necessarily need.
• LB Nigel Bradham: Bradham broke his thumb in three places during the season last year, and played through it. Doug Pederson has declined to say what Bradham's injury is, but the assumption here is that it's his thumb. He was working off to the side on Tuesday.
• CB Jalen Mills: Mills is still recovering from a foot injury suffered against the Jaguars last season. His recovery devices went in reverse order last year, from a walking boot, to crutches, to a roll-a-bout. He has not practiced at all this offseason.
• CB Ronald Darby: Darby is recovering from a torn ACL. He thinks he'll be ready for Week 1. If he's not, the Eagles have plenty of depth at corner that they shouldn't need to take any chances with Darby if there's any question about his return to 100 percent health. Darby was with the team, helmet on, during warmups on Tuesday.
• S Rodney McLeod: McLeod is also recovering from knee surgery. Like Darby, McLeod warmed up with the team on Tuesday, but did not participate in team drills. The Eagles do not have as much depth at safety as they do at corner.
UPDATE: Oops, I forgot WR Nelson Agholor. He has a "lower body" (eye-roll emoji) injury that will keep him out for the rest of this mini-camp, per Pederson, but will be fine for training camp.
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