Dannell Ellerbe active for playoff game vs. Falcons


Dannell Ellerbe active for playoff game vs. Falcons

The Eagles will have all their starters for Saturday afternoon's playoff game against the Falcons. 

Veteran linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) is active after coming into the weekend listed as questionable. Ellerbe was limited early in the week but was a full participant in Friday's practice. 

The extra weeks of preparation allowed the Eagles to get healthy. Brandon Graham (ankle) was able to heal up and practice all week. 

Sidney Jones (hamstring) is inactive. Jones landed on the injury report this week with a hamstring injury and was listed as questionable. 

Jones, their second-round pick, was activated to the 53-man roster before the regular season finale. He played 29 snaps against the Cowboys before cramping up. With Jones inactive, fellow rookie Rasul Douglas is active. 

Here are the Eagles' other inactive players: Wendell Smallwood, Marcus Johnson, Elijah Qualls, Steven Means, Will Beatty, Destiny Vaeao. 

The one surprise inactive player is Vaeao, who has been a rotational defensive tackle all season. With Vaeao out, the Eagles have just Beau Allen as a rotational DT Saturday. Expect Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry to play inside quite a bit. 

With Beatty inactive, the Eagles' backup offensive linemen are Chance Warmack and Isaac Seumalo. Warmack would be the next guy in at guard and Seumalo would be the next guy in at tackle. Seumalo might also play some snaps at tight end or fullback. 

No surprises in the Falcons' inactives: Marvin Hall, Terrence Magee, Leon McFadden, Sean Weatherspoon, Sean Harlow, Austin Pasztor, Eric Saubert.

Eagles missing linebacker as NFC Championship Game prep begins


Eagles missing linebacker as NFC Championship Game prep begins

What's left of the Eagles' 53-man roster is pretty healthy as the Birds kicked off practice leading into Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Vikings. 

With one exception. 

Middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was the only player on the roster who did not practice as the team worked out inside their practice bubble in pads Wednesday. Ellerbe has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Ellerbe was there as a spectator and without a helmet.

The veteran linebacker missed practice last Tuesday, was limited Wednesday and became a full participant Thursday. We'll see if this week mirrors that. 

Ellerbe ended up being listed as questionable for the game, but was active against the Falcons and played 23 snaps (37 percent). Ellerbe is the Eagles' starting MIKE linebacker in their base package. He comes out on nickel downs. 

The Eagles were back in pads Wednesday, trying to keep things as normal as possible. There was plenty of intensity during the open portion of the practice. During special teams drills, rookie cornerback Rasul Douglas ran through veteran linebacker Najee Goode. That's some West Virginia on West Virginia crime. 

Here are some views from Wednesday's session: 

Eagles not distracted by legendary trophy

Reuben Frank | NBC Sports Philadelphia

Eagles not distracted by legendary trophy

It was kind of hard not to be caught up in the moment Wednesday morning, what with the striking Halas Trophy on display at the NovaCare Complex.

The Halas Trophy, named after legendary Chicago Bears founder and head coach and Navy war hero George Halas, is awarded annually to the NFC champion.

The Eagles are one home win receiving that trophy and advancing to the Super Bowl, and on Wednesday, with the trophy resting on a table alongside Eagles and Vikings helmets, much of the focus of the NFL world was on the Eagles.

And a few feet from that trophy, Doug Pederson spoke about how this is just another week.

It's not, of course.

But his goal is to convince his players it is. No matter how much hype, no matter how much media, no matter how much attention.

"I think you just have to continue doing what you're doing," Pederson said. "The guys are going to prepare themselves the way they have all season long. It's obviously a great opportunity, a great honor faced in front of us, and we just attack each day the same."

The Eagles have done a remarkable job staying focused this year and really the last two years under Pederson.

This team has lost just twice this season when playing its starters — at Kansas City in September and at Seattle the first week of December — and has stared down every challenge that's come its way.

On 6:40 p.m. Sunday at the Linc, the Eagles face the Vikings with a berth in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis at stake.

"You've just got to stay grounded (and) in the moment," Pederson said. "You have to block out the clutter, block out the noise and focus on today. Focus on Wednesday and get yourself prepared like it's any other Wednesday."

Out in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, where the Vikings practice, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer may have a tougher task than Pederson getting his team to focus after its wild last-second win over the Saints.

Plus, the Vikings essentially have two fewer days to prepare for Sunday, since they played this past Sunday and they also have to travel one day.

Zimmer told reporters in Philadelphia Wednesday morning that once the Vikings took a look at the Eagles, they were able to move past the Saints game and focus on the task at hand.

"I think they watched the film of the Eagles and I think it gets them focused pretty quick," he said.

"That game was Sunday, today is Wednesday. We're over that. We've got a big task in front of us. This is a heck of an Eagles team, outstanding defense, top in the league in red-zone touchdown percentage.

"I can go on and on about this team. I think they understand the task that we have at hand and the opportunity that we may have as well."