Eagles

NFL Notes: Browns looking to trade Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden

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NFL Notes: Browns looking to trade Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden

BEREA, Ohio -- Joe Haden's bounce-back season might not happen with the Browns.

The two-time Pro Bowl cornerback, who has been limited by injuries the past two years, is reportedly being shopped and Cleveland coach Hue Jackson did nothing to clarify Haden's future.

Following Tuesday's practice, Jackson did not deny a CBSSports.com report that the Browns are "aggressively trying to trade" Haden.

"This is the time of year where everything starts happening," Jackson said when asked about the report. "Things start getting said. Obviously, I don't know that. But we'll deal with those things as we move forward."

Jackson deferred other questions about Haden to Sashi Brown, the team's executive vice president of football operations.

"I trust Sashi and his group to make the right decisions that I think is best for our football team," Jackson said. "Do I want Joe Haden on our football team? Yes, but whatever our organization thinks is best for our football team, that's what we'll do" (see full story).

Redskins: Nose tackle Taylor out for season
ASHBURN, Va. -- Phil Taylor is out for the season after tearing his left quadriceps tendon, leaving the Washington Redskins with a big void to fill on the defensive line.

Coach Jay Gruden said the veteran nose tackle, who was injured Sunday in the third preseason game , will have surgery on Wednesday. The season-ending injury is a blow to Taylor after he worked to get his career back on track following a series of injuries and was in line to start Week 1.

"I feel terrible for Phil because he did a great job at getting himself ready to play," Gruden said Tuesday. "He's in excellent shape, but it's just an unfortunate injury. The rest of the guys have got to step up."

Those players include Ziggy Hood, Joey Mbu, A.J. Francis and free agent additions Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee on a defensive line that has been prepared to play different positions. Rookie Jonathan Allen and second-year linemen Anthony Lanier and Matt Ioannidis could also fill in.

"We have a lot of guys that can play a lot of spots," Francis said. "All of us can play everywhere on the D-line. The good thing about it is because of that it's hard for offenses because they never truly know what they're going to get" (see full story).

Steelers: Team acquires TE McDonald from 49ers
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin scouted Vance McDonald before the 2013 NFL draft and liked what he saw from the big tight end. Though San Francisco grabbed McDonald in the second round that spring, Tomlin kept tabs on McDonald, monitoring his progress from afar.

Tomlin's view will be considerably better going forward. The Steelers acquired McDonald from the rebuilding 49ers on Tuesday, sending a fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft to San Francisco for the 27-year-old McDonald and a fifth-round selection next spring.

"He's an NFL-capable tight end, another guy to add to that mix and some competition there," Tomlin said. "We'll quickly get him up to speed."

McDonald has struggled with drops during his career but caught 24 passes for San Francisco in 2016, setting career highs with 391 yards receiving and four touchdowns. He'll join a group that includes Jesse James, who was anointed the starter when the Steelers released Ladarius Green in March after one injury-marred season (see full story).

Cowboys: Elliott’s appeal headed for 2nd day
NEW YORK -- Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott's appeal of his six-game suspension over a domestic violence incident is headed for a second day with no timeline for completion of the hearing.

The appeal before arbitrator Harold Henderson is being held at an undisclosed location. The NFL suspended its 2016 rushing leader after concluding that he was physically abusive toward his then-girlfriend in Ohio last summer. Prosecutors declined to pursue the case.

The league's letter detailing the suspension also cited an incident when Elliott was caught on video pulling down a woman's shirt during a St. Patrick's Day parade in Dallas. The NFL said that incident wasn't considered in the six-game ban, but indicated a pattern of poor behavior.

Elliott, who had 1,631 yards rushing as a rookie, made his only appearance of the preseason last week at home against Oakland.

The 22-year-old was excused from practice this week to attend the hearing and wouldn't have played anyway in the exhibition finale against Houston. That game was relocated to the home of the Cowboys because of flooding from Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

Quite a Christmas present coming for Jordan Hicks

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USA Today Images

Quite a Christmas present coming for Jordan Hicks

It won't be a surprise, but Jordan Hicks is going to get a pretty great Christmas present this year. 

He won't find it under his tree either. 

Hicks, who has been recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and surgery, will hit another big milestone in his recovery on Dec. 25. That's the day the walking boot comes off of his right foot. 

"Real good present, right?" Hicks said. 

Hicks, 25, tore his right Achilles on the second play from scrimmage against Washington on Oct. 23. Having already torn his left Achilles in college, Hicks knew immediately that his season was over and a long recovery was ahead of him. 

But Hicks has no doubt he'll return to being the same player he was before. He thinks he'll be even better. 

"Oh there's no question about that," Hicks said on Friday, speaking to a group of reporters in the Eagles' locker room for the first time since the injury. "There's no question about that. I'll be fine. I did my left Achilles in college and came back better. I know more, the advancements are better. There's no doubt in my mind I'll be a better player when I come back."

Hicks said the normal recovery time from an Achilles rupture is 6 to 9 months. The six-month mark will be April. He expects to be back for training camp and be completely ready for next season. 

Before suffering this Achilles tear, Hicks had been dealing with an ankle injury on his left leg. Hicks, who has been labeled as an injury prone player since college, was very proud of playing all 16 games in 2016. So when that ankle injury popped up earlier this season, he tried to play through it. That ankle injury led to a calf injury in his right leg and then the Achilles popped. Hicks thinks overcompensating for the initial injury led to a more serious one. 

"I think a couple weeks could have helped me, but it's always easy to look back," Hicks said. "Hindsight is 20/20. I wouldn't change anything just because it's my personality. It's who I am. All I want to do is be there for my teammates. Every time I step out there, the biggest goal for me is to have my teammates know that I'm their leader and I can be accountable. For me to sit here and say I shouldn't have been out there those weeks, it's hard for me to say that because all I want to do is be out there."

Hicks lasted just a couple plays in that Washington game before his Achilles popped. Because he had been through the same injury before, he knew immediately that his season was over and he was looking at a long road to recovery ahead of him. And initially, it wasn't easy. Jason Peters joined him in the locker room a quarter later with his own season-ending injury and tried to raise his spirits, but that didn't change the fact that Hicks' season was over. 

And for the second time in his three-year career, he knew he would end the season on injured reserve. 

"The grief set in," he said. "For the first week or so, it was tough, but man, there's no time for that. There's no time to sit here and sulk. There's no time to think about what could have been. ... All I'm focusing on is making sure I'm better and ready next year for my guys. That's all it is. For me, it's about accountability."

While Hicks made a rare appearance in the Eagles' locker room during media time on Friday, he's been around the building plenty. He and the Eagles' other injured players have remained involved despite their injuries. In fact, every week, Hicks studies opponent film to see how they handle blitzes. And every Friday, he gets in front of the defense to present it. 

After the injury, Jim Schwartz came to him and asked him to do this. 

"It's easy to isolate yourself in situations like this," Hicks said. "For him to come up to me and ask me to do that was big. I try to keep guys' spirits up and share my perspective." 

For the last month and a half, Hicks has been around the team but has been forced to watch games on TV, which he said is really tough. He hopes that's about to end. He'll be in North Jersey this weekend for the Giants game and hopes he'll be back on the sideline. 

"It's tough," Hicks said. "It's never easy to go through something like this. It tests your patience, this tests your character. You learn a lot through these times because it is so difficult. You have to really grind through some hard times. Put your head down and I think your character is really shown through this."

Nick Foles may not have full protection vs. Giants

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Nick Foles may not have full protection vs. Giants

The Eagles will have a new quarterback this weekend, but they might not be able to protect him as well as they hope. 

Starting left guard Stefen Wisniewski will officially be listed as questionable for Sunday's game because of an ankle injury. 

Wiz had to leave the Rams game in the first half and did not return. He missed practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday. 

"We'll see where he's at today," head coach Doug Pederson said on Friday. 

After Wisniewski came out of the Rams game, he was replaced by Chance Warmack, who was then replaced by Isaac Seumalo. 

It sounds like Warmack will have the first chance to play this weekend if Wisniewski can't go. 

"We've worked Chance at that position this week," Pederson said. "Isaac has obviously gotten some reps really at all the positions but that would be the most logical."

Seumalo actually began the season as the team's starting left guard after he won the position in the offseason. From there, Warmack got the first crack at replacing him when he was benched, but Warmack couldn't keep the job, eventually giving way to a rotation before Wisniewski simply took over. The line has been much better since Wiz took over the starting job in Week 3. 

Alshon Jeffery and Steven Means, who both missed Thursday's practice with illnesses, will be back on the practice field on Friday. Both should be fine for this weekend's game. 

The Eagles will practice outside in 28-degree weather on Friday as they prepare for Sunday's outdoor game at MetLife Stadium. 

No word on the condition of the recycling can Jason Kelce kicked inside the bubble after getting cleated on Thursday. At least the outdoor practice will give it another day of rest.