Eagles

Sidney Jones to debut Sunday

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USA Today Images

Sidney Jones to debut Sunday

The Eagles on Saturday activated cornerback Sidney Jones from the reserve-non football injury, clearing the way for the rookie second-round pick from Washington to make his NFL debut Sunday against the Cowboys at the Linc. 

On Friday, the Eagles placed linebacker Joe Walker on injured reserve to clear a roster spot for Jones (see story).

Jones, who suffered a torn Achilles during his pro day at the University of Washington in March, has been on the reserve/NFI list all season. He began practicing earlier this month, which started a three-week window ending Tuesday, after which the Eagles had to either add him to the 53-man roster or placed him on IR.

“It’s been a long journey," Jones said back Dec. 13. "I’ve had a great support system around me, everybody’s been helping me, telling me this, telling me that.

"A few guys I reached out to or reached out to me and gave me advice, people who’d hurt their Achilles before. Jason Peters helped me out a lot, Jordan Hicks helped me out a lot as well. Everybody’s been supportive."

Jones, the 43rd player taken in this year’s draft, has not played since Washington’s bowl game — a loss to No. 1 Alabama in the Peach Bowl, which was also a College Football Playoff Semifinal, Dec. 31, 2016, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Eagles-Cowboys game is exactly one year later.

It’s been just about nine months since his surgery. Jones was initially projected as a first-round pick, but the Eagles selected him knowing they wouldn’t have him for most of the season. The last cornerback the Eagles drafted as high as they drafted Jones was first-round pick Lito Sheppard, the 26th pick in 2002.

”I think we'll see pretty quickly that he has a good grasp of what he's expected to do," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. "Keeping his ears open and his eyes open has been his No. 1 job description over these last six months.

"I've been really proud of what he's done there. I would be very surprised if he can't go in and execute what we're asking him to do."

With Jones, Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas and Ronald Darby, the Eagles have four cornerbacks 23 or younger under contract through at least next year.

QB clash in NFC title game is what makes sports great

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QB clash in NFC title game is what makes sports great

Life is just too darn predictable. Death, taxes, partisan politics, some form of Law and Order running on cable, Liam Neeson rescuing someone.

That predictability often seeps into the sporting world as well. Alabama playing for a national title, the Cleveland Browns playing for no title and the Patriots owning the NFL. We’ve been there, done that, too many times.

That’s why the Nick Foles-Case Keenum South Philly showdown for the right to play in the Super Bowl is an awesome, unexpected gift bestowed upon us by the sports gods.

Think about the premise of someone suggesting to you prior to the season that Foles and Keenum would be playing for an NFC title. You wouldn’t even have gotten to the point of laughing them off. You would have dismissed that person and probably sought an intervention for them before it even got to that point. But that’s what makes this matchup so unique. Take last year’s final four quarterbacks for example. Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady. Three Hall of Fame locks. With the exception of Ryan, all have won a ring and all are perennial Pro Bowlers. The blue bloods of the league. Predictable.

This year’s box of QB chocolates is what makes sports great. Foles and Keenum were overlooked, written off, one-time starters who washed out at their previous stops. Foles even contemplated retirement. Yet here they are, one guaranteed to be playing in their sport's ultimate game. If you throw Blake Bortles into the mix in the AFC, three of the four quarterbacks left standing would have been completely unthinkable prior to the season.

It’s also what makes this Eagles season and this run that much sweeter. Even if they had stayed healthy all season, few of us saw them playing for the right to take home the Lombardi Trophy. Let alone with Foles, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Jake Elliott and the fill-in crew. Foles' and Keenum’s success could also go a long way in dispelling the myth that if your starting quarterback goes down, your season is over. Granted, the Eagles, Vikings and Jaguars all have phenomenal defenses, which helps quite a bit. 

Both quarterbacks have their work cut out for them considering the ferociousness of those defenses they will be facing. But taking into account what both have been through to get to this point, I don’t think either will be daunted. One thing we also know for sure, the game and the quarterback matchup will be anything but predictable.

Lane Johnson using underdog status to raise money for Philly schools

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Lane Johnson using underdog status to raise money for Philly schools

How do you turn being a home underdog into a good thing? Use it as motivation to win a football game.

How do you turn being a home underdog into a great thing? Raise money for Philadelphia schools and win football games. That’s what Lane Johnson is doing.

After the nation doubted the Eagles against the Falcons, Johnson and Chris Long donned dog masks after divisional round win, embracing the role of underdogs. Now, Johnson has his own T-shirt and is raising money. A lot of it, too.

Shirts can be purchased at lj65.shop for just $18 and Johnson tweeted that more than 3,000 have already been sold.

Hopefully, the home dogs continue to eat this weekend against the Vikings.