While Jimmy Rollins may be watching the throne in Philadelphia during the offseason, one New York Mets player is taking things to new heights over the winter months. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey isn't content with the usual athlete offseason hobbies like fishing trips in Brazil, sneaker collecting, or taking in a Kanye West and Jay Z concert. Instead, Dickey will set off on an adventure to scale Mount Kilimanjaro.
The Mets aren't real thrilled about the prospect of one of their players climbing the 19,000-foot mountain in Tanzania, but Dickey doesn't care. He's a big boy after all.
"Yeah. I'm a grown man, and I can do what I want to do," Dickey said in an interview with New York Magazine. "But at the same time, let's say I slip, fall, break my leg, and can't pitch for two months. Legally, they have the authority to void my contract.
Dickey is using the adventure to raise money for a cause called Red Light District Outreach Mumbai, which according to ESPN combats human trafficking in India.
We always support athletes trying to raise money for a charity, but be warned, we hear the thin air at high altitudes can cause choking.
>>R.A. Dickey to climb Mount Kilimanjaro [ESPN]
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Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours
Deadline: November 20
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Right tackle Lane Johnson and running back Wendell Smallwood were both back at Eagles practice Tuesday.
Johnson missed the Panthers game with a concussion he suffered against Cardinals, and Smallwood missed the last two games after hurting his knee against the Chargers.
Practice was closed Tuesday and the Eagles are not required to release an injury report until Thursday because of the long week, but a team official confirmed that Johnson practiced — which means he was cleared through the NFL's concussion protocol by an approved neurosurgeon.
Johnson was not in the locker room during the period it was open to the media, but Smallwood said he did practice without limitations and hopes to play against the Redskins Monday night.
"It's been coming along," Smallwood said. "Felt good these past couple days, since really after the Carolina game it started feeling good. I was full-go today, I practiced with the guys. ... I wasn't limited at all. It really didn't bother me much. I felt good today. Hopefully, later on in the week, I'll feel better as the week goes and I'll be playing Monday. I think I should be ready."
Smallwood rushed for 113 yards with a 3.9 average and caught seven passes for 56 yards in four games before getting hurt early in the Chargers game.
"Wendell obviously brings a lot to the table," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "He's that thrashing, downhill runner. He's got some explosiveness. He's a three-down back, he's good out of the backfield, he's really good in protection. It brings all those things."
Smallwood said he played "on adrenaline" with the injury but said his knee swelled up during the game.
Injuries have married Smallwood's career. He missed the last three games last year with a knee injury and missed time in training camp with a hamstring injury.
"I get frustrated a lot when I'm not in the game, not being out there to help and progress as the year goes on," he said. "So it frustrates me.
"But it happens. I've just got to suck it up and not pay attention to it. Just know I can bounce back and just try to get on the field as fast as I can."
Smallwood said he expects to be 100 percent Monday night in a huge divisional game against the Redskins at the Linc.
"I believe so," he said. "I'm not going to hold back any. I'm not going to think about it or get nervous. I have that confidence in myself. As the week's gone on, I just started feeling better about what I'm able to do."
Also, rookie cornerback Sidney Jones, who became eligible to practice Wednesday after spending the first six weeks on the reserve-non football injury list, said he did not practice. Jones has been out since suffering a torn Achilles at his pro day in March.