Eagles

Nick Foles returns to Eagles practice, coaches confident he'll be ready Week 1

Nick Foles returns to Eagles practice, coaches confident he'll be ready Week 1

Nick Foles, who has been battling elbow soreness all summer, returned to Eagles practice Monday, a week after his last practice.

Offensive coordinator Frank Reich said earlier in the day he wasn't sure whether Foles would play in the preseason finale against the Jets on Thursday night, but his presence at practice Monday was an encouraging sign. Foles has yet to play this preseason.

The sixth-year pro from Arizona missed OTAs with an elbow injury he has said dates back to last year, when he was Alex Smith's backup with the Chiefs. He participated on the first day of training camp but didn't practice again for two weeks.

He returned Aug. 15, but after indicating he was 100 percent and saying "I feel good, I feel really good," Foles sat out the Bills preseason game, practiced one day against the Dolphins, then shut down again and didn't play last Thursday night against Miami.

But after skipping practice Sunday, he was back on the field on Monday.

Offensive coordinator Frank Reich said Foles will be fine going into the regular season even if he doesn't play at all in the preseason.

“The good thing in Nick’s situation is you certainly want to play every play you can, but he’s proven so much in his career, he’s been a winner at this level, proven that he can win big games, do what it takes to win big games," Reich said before practice Monday. "So we’re confident."

Foles wasn't at his locker during the 45-minute open session Monday and hasn't been available to the media since announcing last Tuesday he wouldn't be playing against the Dolphins.

Carson Wentz started all 16 games last year and only missed a few snaps in the second Giants game.

No. 3 quarterback Matt McGloin has completed 71 percent of his passes in the three preseason games but has one touchdown pass and an NFL-high three interceptions. He would presumably be No. 2 if Foles were unavailable.

Foles is 20-16 in his career as a starter and made the Pro Bowl with the Eagles in 2013. McGloin is 1-6 as a starter, with the one win coming in 2013 with the Raiders over the Texans in his first NFL start a week after making his NFL debut against the Eagles in the game Foles threw an NFL-record seven touchdowns.

Undrafted rookie Dane Evans from Tulsa is also on the roster.

“Nick’s worked good this offseason and getting ready for the season mentally, physically, in every way," Reich said Monday.

"I think all players have bumps and bruises along the way. (Foles has) had a little bump, and I think it will pass quickly and we’re ready for the season."

Foles said back on Aug. 15 that the injury was a serious one, but he was confident the worst of it was over.

“It sort of catches you off guard at first and you think it’s just something that’s going to go away, and then it gets worse and worse and worse and then you realize it’s something (serious)," he said two weeks ago.

"I’ve been trying to treat it but it just never went away. There’s days where it felt OK but never days where it felt great and then there were days where it felt horrible. So it’s just one of those things, but it feels great now."

While Foles was back at practice on Monday, the following players did not participate: Jordan Hicks (quad), Brandon Graham (elbow), Paul Turner (shoulder), Jalen Mills (hand), Ron Brooks, Nate Gerry, Najee Goode, Destiny Vaeao and Chris Long. Long was the only player who missed practice on Monday who was not mentioned by Pederson on Sunday. 

Roob's Random Points, part 2: Seth Joyner, Eagles Hall of Fame and Paul Simon

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AP Images/NBCSP

Roob's Random Points, part 2: Seth Joyner, Eagles Hall of Fame and Paul Simon

In Part 2 of this week's Roob's Random Points (see Part 1), we babble on about Seth Joyner's preposterous absence from the Eagles Hall of Fame, Simon and Garfunkel, the Eagles' first-quarter dominance, a band called RFA, Nelson Agholor and much, much more!

Dive in!

1. David Akers goes into the Eagles Hall of Fame Monday night, and he absolutely deserves it. Greatest kicker in Eagles history. All-time franchise leader in games played and points. But we have to once again ask why the Eagles Hall of Fame continues to ignore Joyner, one of the greatest outside linebackers of the modern era! Joyner is the only player in NFL history with 25 interceptions and 50 sacks. In fact, of the 136 players in NFL history with 50 sacks, only three other players in NFL history have half as many interceptions as Joyner (Mo Lewis 14, Clay Matthews 16, Junior Seau 18). And of the 155 players with 25 or more interceptions (since sacks became an official stat in 1982), only five others have half as many sacks (Brian Dawkins 26, Ronde Barber 28, Rodney Harrison 30½, William Thomas 37, Ray Lewis 41). Joyner also returned three fumbles for TDs — fifth-most in NFL history by a linebacker. He was a beast against the run, a hawk in coverage, deadly as a blitzer. And he did all of this as an eighth-round pick who was the 208th player taken in the 1986 draft (and promptly released, only to be re-signed). Joyner, who has also become a brilliant football analyst for NBC Sports Philadelphia, should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. For him to not even be in his own team's Hall of Fame is a disgrace.

2. Gotta say I don't get why Joel Embiid is starting the season on such a dramatic minutes restriction. Brett Brown said, "Somewhere in the teens." The teens? The teens??? It's been eight months since his surgery, and it's not like he's shown any signs of it in his preseason stints. He looks phenomenal, to use Larry Brown's favorite word. Let the kid play!

3. Think about this for a minute: The Eagles are 5-1 despite missing Darren Sproles, Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson, Ronald Darby, Wendell Smallwood, Rodney McLeod, Corey Graham, Caleb Sturgis and Jaylen Watkins for a combined 25 games. Amazing.

4. It's crazy how dramatically field goal kicking has improved just in the last few years. Through 2012, only five kickers in NFL history had made 85 percent of their career field goal attempts (Mike Vanderjagt, Nate Kaeding, Rob Bironas, Robbie Gould, Shayne Graham). In the five years since the entire league combined has made 85 percent of its field goal attempts!

5. And 15 of the 19 most-accurate kickers in NFL history are currently active. So, for example, Ryan Succop is one of the 20 most-accurate kickers in NFL history but ranks only 15th out of 30 active kickers in accuracy! (I love kicking stats.)

6. Only nine quarterbacks in NFL history have started all 32 games their first two seasons in the league. Of those nine, only four had a winning record (Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton). If Carson Wentz stays healthy and the Eagles just win four games the rest of the year, Wentz joins that group.

7. I'm convinced they make phones out of the world's slipperiest material so it's almost impossible not to drop them and break them and have to buy new phones.

8. The Eagles have scored 44 first-quarter points. They scored 56 in the first quarter all last year. In fact, they've outscored their opponents, 44-6, in the first quarter. They're only the 13th team in NFL history to score 40 or more first-quarter points and allow six or fewer through six games. And this is the first time since 1979 they haven't allowed a first-quarter touchdown in their first six games. Last year, they constantly got into first-quarter holes. This year, they've really been able to take command of games early and then just dictate on both sides of the ball the rest of the way. Impressive stuff.

9. I don't think the Eagles are going to lose a game at the Linc this year.

10. "Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you," is one of the all-time greatest lines in popular music. And it's so brilliant that Paul Simon could get away with following it up with something as seemingly inane as, "Woo woo woo." But the "woo woo woo" actually serves an important function in that verse in the Simon & Garfunkel classic, "Mrs. Robinson." The Joe DiMaggio couplet is so compelling that the "woo woo woo" serves as a chance for the listener to let the previous line truly sink in and regroup. It's like a momentary respite from the genius. Which is in itself genius.

11. Hard to believe the Eagles have never had a 4,000-yard passer. Wentz is on pace for 4,224, but as of now, the Eagles are one of only two teams that have never had a 4,000-yard passer. The Bears' club record is 3,838, set in 1995 by Erik Kramer. The Eagles' franchise record is 3,918 by Donovan McNabb in 2008. Maybe if he hadn't gotten benched for the second half against the Ravens that year he would have gotten it.

12. There are like 10,000 great bands in Philly, and my new favorite one is called RFA, and I have no idea what it stands for or even if it stands for anything, but I saw them play at the Manayunk Harvest Festival Saturday at Pretzel Park and honestly it reminded me of seeing a then-unknown band called The Strokes at the TLA opening for Guided by Voices in February 2001 — eight months before "Is This It" was even released. Great songs, boundless energy, killer musicianship. Everything I need in a band.

12½. How cool is it that when Nelson Agholor makes a big catch we're not even surprised anymore!

Chris Long to donate final 10 Eagles game checks, play for free

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USA Today Images

Chris Long to donate final 10 Eagles game checks, play for free

Chris Long is now basically playing for free this year. 

The Eagles' veteran defensive end, who had already pledged to give away his first six game checks of this season for scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, is now giving away the final 10 to his three NFL cities.

This season, Long had a base salary of $1 million. All of that money is now going to fund the education of others. 

Still want him to stick to sports? 

Long, 32, on Wednesday morning announced he's giving away his final 10 checks this season to four organizations he has identified "whose missions focus on making education easily accessible to underserved youth while also providing students the support they need to develop strong social and emotional character." 

Those four organizations are based in Philadelphia, Boston and St. Louis, the three cities he's played for during his NFL career. 

"In my 10th year, I want to celebrate the awesome opportunity I've had to play football by giving back to the communities that have given me that gift," Long said in a statement. "Educational opportunity and equity are the best gateway to a better tomorrow for everyone in America."

With the donation, The Chris Long Foundation also announced the creation of the "Pledge 10 for Tomorrow" campaign, which hopes Long's donation will be matched by pledges. For those who wish to pledge money to the cause, click here.

Since arriving in Philadelphia this offseason, it's been pretty clear Long is one of the more socially aware and active players in the Eagles' locker room. He's been outspoken on social issues but is now proving he's not stopping with words. He's putting money and effort into improving communities he cares about. 

"I’ve been lucky," Long said after donating his first six game checks earlier this year. "I’ve made a lot of money in my career, so it’s not like I’m scrapping check to check. This isn’t a hero thing. It’s nothing like that. It’s honestly just that I want to put my money where my mouth is."

Houston's J.J. Watt was the runaway leader for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year award after raising millions for Hurricane Harvey relief, but Long would certainly be deserving too. It's not unprecedented for the award to be split among two players. In fact, Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning shared it just last year. 

But Long isn't giving away his entire salary for an award. He's doing it because he cares. He's doing it to make a difference. 

He's using his platform to change the lives of others.