In a welcome news Saturday morning, wide receiver DeSean Jackson is on the field catching passes in an actual practice, per csnphilly.com. It’s DeSean’s first on-field work since ending his holdout this past Monday and reporting to Eagles training camp.
Jackson was expected to practice today after missing Thursday night’s preseason victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Still, Jackson actually getting on the field and practicing is a huge step in his preparation for the season, not to mention a good sign regarding the status of contract negotiations.
At this point, the Eagles must re-sign DeSean long-term. A happy and satisfied (and well paid) Jackson going into the season will ensure the Eagles offense is one of the best and most explosive in the league.
In more surprising and certainly very encouraging news, defensive tackle Mike Patterson is also suited up, working on his own on a side practice field. While it’s not him in full pads with the rest of the team, the fact that he’s out there at all is amazing.
The over 4-minute seizure Patterson suffered last week was one of the scariest camp moments in recent memory, and the diagnosis of a potential nerve issue in the brain called AVM had most fearing the worst for Patterson’s future. The Eagles, including both head coach Andy Reid and head trainer Rick Burkholder, were hesitant to even speculate on Patterson’s status, with both hinting strongly that the veteran lineman would be gone for some time, possibly for the season.
Through it all, Patterson and his agent have beat the drum that the issue isn’t as bad as feared, going so far as to predict a quick and complete return in the face of all the doom and gloom talk from the team. It turns out they may have been right.
It still remains to be seen if and when Patterson will be cleared to resume full duties but just having him on the field and in uniform is an amazing development and will hopefully inspire his teammates to pick up their own play.
STEVE SMITH PUP’d
Steve Smith, newly signed wide receiver late of the Giants, has been placed on the training camp Physcially Unable to Perform list. He won’t be able to practice but can attend team meetings and work on his rehab. The Eagles can remove him at any time during camp, with the only requirement being that they are in compliance with the league-mandated roster limit.
The move isn’t surprising when considering Andy Reid’s words Thursday night regarding Smith’s injury.
“He had a small micro fracture, but all of his ligaments and cartilage was intact,” Reid said, per philly.com. “The knee is very stable, and he’s had no swelling in his knee throughout the whole process. He’s been running, and he started running routes this past week. We’re just going to bring him back slowly and see what he can do. We’ll get him in a formal rehab with [head trainer] Rick [Burkholder] and we’ll just see exactly where he’s at. It could be three weeks….I don’t know. I have to see how he does here. We know he’s a fine football player, and we just need to get his leg where it needs to be.”
This designation is different than the regular season PUP list, which would require Smith to sit out the first six games. For now, he’s just limited in camp while he continues to recover from his knee surgery.
SHORT TERM CAMP DEPTH
With Winston Justice still on the camp PUP list himself, and with Ryan Harris, Jamaal Jackson, Fenuki Topou, and King Dunlap all in various states of recovery after Thursday’s game, today the Eagles have added some bodies to the offensive line.
Specifically, they have signed quasi-veteran Joe Toledo and undrafted rookie Spencer Johnson. Toledo was drafted in 2006 but after dealing with what seems to be nonstop injuries, he’s never actually played in an NFL game. Johnson biggest claim to fame is that he played with third-round pick cornerback Curtis Marsh at Utah St.
Basically, these guys have been brought in for Trent Cole, Jason Babin, et al to beat up on while the other O-lineman heal up.
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