Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant took his typically sure hands on the football field and used them to write for Sports Illustrated about the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin situation down in Miami.
Avant believes Miami's locker room is not a typical situation but also points out the lack of diversity training in the NFL in general. He stresses the importance of leadership -- pointing towards past greats in Philly like Brian Dawkins, Troy Vincent, and Brian Westbrook -- from players, coaches, and even all the way up to Jeffrey Lurie.
It's a thoughtful take from a guy who has worked many years in the league. His major takeaway:
Right now the NFL has an opportunity. We know this is a league that’s all about making money and all about winning, but here’s a chance for us to demonstrate that we’re more than that. The NFL can be more than just an employer. It can be a parent. With proper structure in place, the NFL can be a support system for someone in the same situation Jonathan Martin was in, and also provide a helping hand to those who hazed him. We can educate young men on the merits of tolerance, and also the value of holding ourselves to higher standards. It can help mold us into productive members of society when we leave this league. Aren’t those the values we want for our kids?
The whole thing is worth a read for an intelligent perspective from a guy you likely know and respect.
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It's still unclear whether or not the Eagles will have Ronald Darby for Monday night's game, but at least they'll have their linebackers.
Both Jordan Hicks (calf) and Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) will be OK to play against Washington on Monday night, head coach Doug Pederson said.
"Both of them will practice today," Pederson said on Saturday morning. "They're both doing well. Just to get a couple extra days of rest. And Mychal has actually practiced all week. Jordan's been the one we've kept out. Both of them will go today and we'll get a better understanding of where they're at but they'll be fine for the game."
Hicks, Kendricks and Darby were the only three Eagles who were limited in Friday's practice.
Darby (ankle) will be listed as questionable for the game, but earlier in the week Pederson said "stars have to align" for the cornerback to play this week. The 49ers game on Oct. 29 is probably more likely.
Darby, who dislocated his right ankle in Week 1, returned to practice for the first time this week.
"[Darby has] looked well. It's just day by day with him," Pederson said. "We'll get through today's practice with him. Obviously, have limited his reps during practice. He is doing well and we'll get through today and tomorrow to make a decision for [the game]."
The Eagles will practice on Saturday at 11:45 a.m. and the injury report will come out later in the afternoon.