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December 8 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Winston Justice:
“DURING THE game against the Texans last Thursday, I was hit in the left knee and had to come out in the fourth quarter. I knew we didn’t want to stop the clock so I quickly hopped off the field and King Dunlap was ready to get in there for me.
I initially thought I would just be able to walk it off on the sideline. This was the first time I haven’t been able to finish a game, ever. The whole experience was new to me.
A lot of people don’t know that NFL stadiums are equipped with X-ray machines. This is helpful so doctors and trainers can immediately diagnose injuries. When I got hurt on Thursday night, I went in right away and got an X-ray.
Typically, in order to get more conclusive results, players go to the hospital the day after the game to get an MRI. I was nervous sitting there in the waiting room because I had no idea what was wrong and I did not want an injury to force me to miss a game.
Luckily for me, the MRI showed there was no structural damage, but I do have some bruises and strains that I’m going to have to deal with over the next few weeks.
Fortunately, the win against the Texans meant the team had off until today. But if you are injured like me, you have to go in for treatment every day.
Every morning I got up early to head over to the NovaCare Complex for my date with Rick Burkholder and Co. (the team trainers). Treatment includes, ice, stim, the boot – which squeezes your leg to get the inflammation to go down – and a whole bunch of other things the trainers do while you sit there on the doctor’s table. I don’t think any player really knows the terminology or what exactly is going on with these apparatuses, but they do help!”
December 8 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“November was a good month for David Akers, and December has started well.
The Eagles will need him to continue his strong run as the team heads into four crucial season-closing games, starting Sunday in Dallas.
Three of the four will be in the Northeast, where cold and wind can make kicking more tricky.
Over the last month, Akers’ foot has been important and reliable. He hit four field goals in a two-point win over the Colts and kicked another four in a 10-point victory against the Giants, helping him earn NFC special-teams player-of-the-month honors.
Along the way, he tied the record for most games played as an Eagle and then, on the second day of December, set a new mark. He played his 184th game in green as the Eagles beat the Texans.
How much longer can he go on? Akers doesn’t put a number on it but said he does not intend to let up.
“I want them to kick me out, and I’ll go kicking and screaming,” Akers said shortly before tying the team record for games played.
To that end, the kicker said he modified his workout routine about 31/2 years ago.
“When I first started I didn’t think I really was a fat guy, but apparently looks can be deceiving,” said Akers, now in his 12th year in Philadelphia.
He has used yoga, Pilates, explosive plyometric exercises, and the P90X workout routine.
“I’m lifting more weight now upper-body wise than I did when I was in college,” Akers said. He credited the team’s new strength and conditioning coach, Barry Rubin, with adding new wrinkles.
December 8 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Ellis Hobbs said that he is not retiring, although the Eagles cornerback sure sounded content with the idea should he eventually choose to do so.
“I’m not planning on anything,” Hobbs said Tuesday. “I just feel like if I need to leave this game then I can leave it with an empty conscience, that I [played] my hardest. . . . I’m comfortable with or without the game. That’s all.”
Hobbs, who suffered a devastating neck injury two weeks ago, was at the Water Works Restaurant near the Art Museum as part of the NFLPA’s One Team Tour, which is visiting NFL cities to raise awareness about the league’s labor issues.
It’s unclear if Hobbs will be affected by a looming work stoppage. After his second season-ending neck injury in two seasons, his future was immediately called into question. Hobbs was hurt returning a kick when a New York Giants player led with his helmet on what the league considered a legal hit.
The Eagles placed him on injured reserve, but the 27-year-old said he was in no rush to make any long-term decisions.
“I’m putting on my brakes and I’m just relaxing now,” said Hobbs, who seemed to walk without a trace of pain. “It’s only been literally a week, two weeks, so there’s no need to rush into anything. I’m on injured reserve right now and there’s nothing else to look forward to as far as my career right now.”
Hobbs said he was not yet scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a damaged disk in his neck. He underwent a similar procedure last December.”
December 8 Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Ashley Fox:
“The skidmarks are still there right outside of Jerry’s World. They mark the spot where the Eagles‘ 2009 season – and, not coincidentally, Donovan McNabb’s Eagles career – came to a jarring, crushing halt.
You remember 24-0 and 34-14, the numerical evidence that the Eagles simply were not as talented, not as motivated, not as deep and not as good as the Dallas Cowboys. There was such an obvious gap between the division rivals that the Eagles made sweeping changes in the off-season, most notably jettisoning McNabb to the NFL hell that is the Washington Redskins.
So it was odd to hear Jerry Jones on Sunday night.
“It would really lift our spirits and make our arrow go up to beat Philadelphia,” Jones told me.
That’s right. Less than a year after Dallas owned them in back-to-back weeks, the Eagles are the Cowboys’ measuring stick. Raise your hand if you thought that would be the case before this season started.
But it is. The Cowboys have been a trainwreck this season. Billed as Super Bowl contenders, they lost seven of their first eight games and so obviously quit in games that their coach, Wade Phillips, got fired. They’ve since rallied around the fiery interim coach, Jason Garrett, who is 3-1 with victories over the Giants, Lions and Colts and a three-point loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Saints.
Dallas has shown it does have a pulse, even though everyone in the organization, from Jones on down, readily acknowledges that the team will not make the playoffs and, even if the Cowboys do win out to finish 8-8, the season can be judged as nothing other than an abject failure.
The Eagles, meanwhile, are very much in the playoff hunt. At 8-4, they are tied with the Giants for the NFC East lead, have the NFL’s most potent offense and are honed in on achieving the ultimate goal, which is to play in the Super Bowl in Jones’ sensory-overloaded orb, otherwise known as Cowboys Stadium.
What a difference 11 months makes.”
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