Eagles

Chris Long donating first 6 game checks for scholarships in Charlottesville

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Chris Long donating first 6 game checks for scholarships in Charlottesville

Chris Long talked the talk. Now he's walking the walk. 

The Eagles defensive end is donating his first six game checks of the 2017 season to fund two scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia. 

In August, Long spoke out about the violent protests in Charlottesville (see story).  At that time, he thought the majority of the original protesters, protesting the removal of a Confederate statue, were from out of town. He thought his neighbors were the ones trying to stop them. He also took umbrage to President Donald Trump's response, which condemned "violence on many sides."  

Now, Long is doing more than just speaking out. Based on his $1 million base salary in 2017, six games checks will amount to roughly $375,000. 

"In August, we watched people fill our hometown streets with hatred and bigotry," Long said in a release. "Megan (his wife) and I decided to try to combat those actions with our own positive investment in our community." 

According to the release, the scholarships will be administered by Long's alma mater, St. Anne's-Belfield School. Two members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia will be given the seven-year scholarships to go a Virginia school. The two scholarships will go to students entering sixth grade and will provide them with tuition through high school graduation. 

The Longs have actually been sponsoring a student who will graduate this spring from St. Anne's-Belfield, the release said. They have been paying for the student's tuition for the past six years. But now, Long wants to make a more public statement. 

"We want these scholarships to be reflective of what the 'Cville' community is really about -- supporting one another, social equality and building up those in our community who need it," Long said. "We hope our investment will change the lives of the students who receive the scholarship and in turn, those students can positively impact others." 

Ronald Darby returns to practice for Eagles, status for Monday uncertain

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Ronald Darby returns to practice for Eagles, status for Monday uncertain

There's some good news coming out of the NovaCare Complex on Thursday: Ronald Darby is back at practice. 

Head coach Doug Pederson said Darby, who has missed every game since the opener with a dislocated ankle, will practice this week, at least as a limited participant. 

"I can't commit at this time if he's going to be ready (to play on Monday night)," Pederson said, "but we're going to give him some reps this week and see where he's at but he's doing extremely well."

Darby will be practicing this week but it seems unlikely he'll play on Monday night at the Linc. Pederson said "stars (would) have to align" for that to happen. 

Still, practicing is a great sign.

Darby was carted off the field in the second quarter of the opener against Washington with a pretty gruesome-looking ankle injury. It looked like his season was over. But the Eagles put a "4-6 week" label on the injury and there's a reason they didn't put him on IR. 

The injury was a dislocated ankle that didn't need surgery. That last time he spoke to reporters, in mid-September, Darby was confident he'd return in 4-6 weeks. 

So what would Darby have to show to play this week? 

"Obviously with the time off, there's a lot of things that are involved, conditioning No. 1," Pederson said. "That's probably the most important thing. How sore does he get during the week? And by no means do I want to rush him back and just say 'hey, we said this is the week, let's go play.' There's a lot of factors that have to be sort of right, stars have to align for him to be ready to go. But this week will be good just to get back and begin that process of practice and getting that conditioning back."

Darby's return to practice isn't the only good news on Thursday. Jordan Hicks (ankle) and Wendell Smallwood (knee) will also practice. 

Hicks left last week's game early with that ankle injury but Pederson said Hicks is "fine " and there "should be no issues."  

Smallwood has missed the last two games with a knee injury he suffered in LA against the Chargers. Pederson said Smallwood will be limited to start the week but they'll ramp it up as the week goes on. 

Eagles place special teams ace Chris Maragos on injured reserve

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Eagles place special teams ace Chris Maragos on injured reserve

The Eagles will be without one of their best special teamers the rest of the way. 

The team officially placed special teams ace Chris Maragos (knee) on injured reserve on Thursday morning. 

Maragos went down on punt coverage in the fourth quarter last week against the Panthers. Maragos was in pain and was seen leaving the stadium with a huge brace on his right knee. 

To fill his roster spot, the Eagles have promoted linebacker and fifth-rounder Nate Gerry to the active roster. The Eagles also signed WR Rashard Davis to fill Gerry's spot on the practice squad. 

Gerry is converting from college safety to NFL linebacker but could play a role on special teams. 

Maragos, 30, needed to play on defense a few weeks ago because of injury but his main role with the team is as a special teams ace. He has played more special teams snaps (126) than any other player on the Eagles and is tied for the team lead with six special teams tackles.

He was also voted as one of the Eagles' five captains for the season. The Eagles have two offensive captains, two defensive captains and Maragos was their special teams captain. 

Last November, Maragos signed a three-year extension worth $6 million that goes through the 2019 season.