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November 2 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Michael Vick said that he’s 100 percent.
The question now is whether the Eagles quarterback can stay that way.
After missing the last three games with a rib-cartilage injury and practicing on a limited basis as Kevin Kolb ran the first-team offense in the interim, Vick returned to practice Monday as the starter. He was just one of several injured Eagles to benefit from a bye week.
The team, off since it lost to Tennessee, 37-19, on Oct. 24, held a light practice as it began preparations for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. Among those back from injury were wide receiver DeSean Jackson, tackle Jason Peters, and defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley.
Jackson, who suffered a horrific concussion in the Atlanta game on Oct 17, said that he would be a “game-time decision” for Sunday. He said he was limited at practice but did not elaborate on whether he had undergone an independent head examination, although his return would demand as much, according to NFL rules.
But a team spokesman said Jackson has not yet undergone the required independent head examination.
Peters underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee nearly three weeks ago, but said he was on target to start Sunday at left tackle after missing the previous two games. Bunkley, out the last two games with an elbow injury, was noncommittal about the Colts game.
Eagles coach Andy Reid was not available for comment but is expected to have an official injury update on Wednesday.
November 2 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Dimitri Patterson confirmed Monday what had been suspected since Tennessee wideout Kenny Britt burned the Eagles’ secondary for seven catches, 225 yards and three touchdowns on Oct. 24: Ellis Hobbs is no longer the team’s starting right cornerback.
Patterson knew of such matters because, well, he was Hobbs’ replacement when the Eagles reconvened for a light practice after a bye week. The fifth-year pro, primarily a special teams contributor, said he was informed of the move Monday morning and that he was told he was starting in Sunday’s game against the Colts.
Patterson will have the unenviable task of facing Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning and his bevy of receivers in his first career start.
“I’m a competitor, and I’m going to feel like I can cover anybody,” Patterson said. “So Kenny Britt was no exception, and this week will be no exception, and the rest of my career will be no exception. My mind-set week in and week out is that I feel confident that I can cover anybody.”
What remained unclear is whether the change was permanent and whether it had anything to do with an unspecified injury to Hobbs, who did not practice. According to a team spokesman, Hobbs “went to see a doctor” on Monday. He was seen returning to the team’s practice facility at midafternoon.
Although Eagles coach Andy Reid did not list Hobbs on his injury report the day following the loss to the Titans, some players and coaches said that Hobbs may have been playing through an injury as Britt continued to get open.
Hobbs never mentioned that he was injured when he spoke with reporters after the game. Reid and Hobbs were unavailable for comment on Monday.”
November 2 Philadelphia Daily News:
“Quarterback Michael Vick is back and “confident I can take a hit,” Vick said yesterday, as the Eagles returned from the bye with a light workout at NovaCare. Left tackle Jason Peters also proclaimed himself ready to reclaim his starting role, and wideout DeSean Jackson practiced, though Jackson said he was “a little bit limited” and his participation this weekend against the Colts would be a “gametime decision.”
The Eagles later clarified that Jackson has not seen or been cleared by independent neurologist Dr. William Welch, which will have to happen before he plays. The team said Jackson passed the team’s testing a week ago yesterday.
“I can’t play the game worried about getting hit or not being able to play the way I like to play,” said Vick, out since tearing rib cartilage against the Redskins Oct. 3. But Vick, who was sandwiched between two Washington defenders as he lunged for the goalline, also said: “I definitely’ll be smarter when running the football – try to get down . . . I can’t predetermine what I’m going to do when I play, I just know I have to play smarter and be conscious of what’s going on out there, and try to protect myself.”
Running back LeSean McCoy said he hopes Vick will use his elusiveness to get himself out of danger, instead of always straining for extra yardage.
“It’s a great effort, but we might not need it,” McCoy said. “I’d rather have him here for the rest of the season than have an extra first down or an extra couple of yards.”
Vick said he will wear extra padding. Throwing in practice, he had “no soreness at all,” he said.
“The bye week helped tremendously,” Vick said. “I felt great.”
November 2 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan:
“Rest easy, Eagles fans. Your local football team is doing just fine.
Jason Peters vs. Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney next Sunday? No worries there.
“He’s a Pro Bowl guy, I’m a Pro Bowl guy,” Peters said. “You’re going to see two Pro Bowlers going at it Sunday.”
Dimitri Patterson starting at cornerback in place of Ellis Hobbs, who may have an injury besides windburn? No sweat.
“I feel like I can cover anybody,” Patterson said.
Sitting at 4-3 and going into the meat of their schedule?
“We control our destiny,” tight end Brent Celek said. “As long as we continue to play well, we’ll be OK.”
Evidently, that horrendous loss in Nashville a week ago was a figment of our collective imagination. It never happened. Either that or the Eagles spent their bye week having their short-term memories erased with Tommy Lee Jones’ “flashy thing” from Men in Black.
Before the season, one of the more annoying aspects of this Eagles’ youth movement was the sense you got from the players that they had been held back from achieving greatness for the last year or two. This was their time, and they were ready to leave their mark. This was when Kevin Kolb was the young prince, and no one had missed a blocking assignment or blown a coverage yet.
There is one thing saving this Eagles season, and it is not the Eagles. It is the undeniable fact that the rest of the league, specifically the rest of the NFC, is a morass of dysfunction, ineptitude and outright stupidity.
Where to begin? How about Dallas, where owner Jerry Jones has been in denial about head coach Wade Phillips for at least two years? Pretending is no longer possible, however, not with a 1-6 record. One suspects the only reason Phillips remains employed for now is that Jones is too stubborn to do what everyone knows he must do.
November 1 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“As inconsistent as the Eagles have been this season, a few things about Andy Reid’s teams have remained relatively consistent over the years: They get better as the season progresses into November and December, and they make the playoffs.
In his 11 previous seasons, Reid’s teams were 63-33-1 (.655) from November on. In September and October, they are 49-37 (.570). And in those 11 years, the Eagles reached the postseason eight times.
Probability alone does not guarantee that the current Eagles, 4-3 and fresh off a bye week, will reach the playoffs. But as they resume practice Monday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, they have as much chance as any team in the wide-open NFC.
The young squad is still a bit of a mystery despite its winning mark. The Eagles have beaten only one team with a winning record, the 5-2 Atlanta Falcons.
The road does not get any easier. Five of the Eagles’ final nine games are against opponents that have winning marks, beginning with the 4-2 Colts, who will host the Houston Texans on Monday night.
Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning is just the first of several top-notch quarterbacks the Eagles will face in the closing months, a scary proposition considering how shaky their pass defense has been.
“I don’t want to even hear that word,” Eagles safety Quintin Mikell said last week when reminded that “Peyton” was next on the card. “We’re facing some very good quarterbacks. . . . Peyton is the best to ever play the game, in my opinion. We have a tall task ahead of us.”
October 31 Camden Courier-Post:
“DeSean Jackson knows exactly why he beat the odds to become an NFL star. He had an overprotective, iron-willed father who never let him settle.
Of all his five children — four boys and one girl — Bill Jackson came down hardest on DeSean.
“He was in DeSean’s face like, oh my goodness,” the Eagles receiver’s mother, Gayle, said. “DeSean couldn’t breathe without Bill being there.”
Bill’s obsession with keeping DeSean in line had a purpose. He recognized in DeSean what others didn’t. He saw grace, style and fearlessness — the DNA of a professional athlete — where others saw a short body and a skinny physique.
And so Bill presided over DeSean with an iron fist while also protecting him from those who didn’t share the same vision.
DeSean chuckled recently when he recalled the time his father and Little League coach nearly came to blows. DeSean wanted to play the infield. His coach pointed straight to the outfield.
“My dad was about to break through the fence and they were about to fight,” DeSean said. “He didn’t care about what people felt about him. What he was going to do, he was going to do. I think I got my attitude from him.”
On May 14, 2009, Bill Jackson locked up with an opponent he couldn’t beat. He lost his battle with pancreatic cancer less than six months after diagnosis.”
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