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. 

Eagles' season opener will be a juicy rematch

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Eagles' season opener will be a juicy rematch

These poor Minnesotans can't seem to get rid of Philly.

First, the Eagles spanked their Vikings in the NFC Championship Game, then the Eagles won a Super Bowl two weeks later in their stadium. And now the Vikings have to open up the 2018 NFL season back at the Linc.

The Eagles are going to host the Vikings on Thursday, Sept. 6 at Lincoln Financial Field to open the NFL calendar, according to Howard Eskin.

Of course, the last time the Vikings came to the Linc they scored the first touchdown of the game before the Eagles scored the next 38 points to crush the No. 2 seed in the NFC, 38-7.

After Kyle Rudolph caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum early in the first quarter, the Eagles' defense clamped down and the offense, led by Nick Foles, exploded. The biggest play of the game (one of the biggest of the season) was Patrick Robinson's 50-yard pick-6 later in the first quarter. The Eagles took a 24-7 lead into the locker room and halftime and much of the second half became a party on the sideline and in the stands, where a "Foles-Skol" chant broke out several times.

Of course, the Vikings are going to look different this time. Case Keenum has moved on to Denver, and the Vikings brought in Kirk Cousins from Washington. In his career against the Eagles, Cousins is 4-3 with a passer rating of 99.7.

The full NFL schedule probably won't be released until mid-April. We also know the Eagles will face the Jaguars in London on either Oct. 21 or 28.

Here are the teams the Eagles will face in 2018:



Roob's 10 mid-March Eagles observations

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Roob's 10 mid-March Eagles observations

We're deep into free agency, the draft is rapidly approaching and the 2017 Super Bowl champion Eagles are being reshaped into a new team.

Which means it's a perfect time for a Roob's 10 Observations.

1. As the Eagles move on from LeGarrette Blount and reshape the running back position, it’s intriguing to ponder just how good Corey Clement can be. From what I saw last year? I think the kid can be a stud. His touches were limited until late in the season, but how many rookies have had 300 rushing yards, 200 receiving yards and averaged at least 4.4 yards per carry and 13 yards per catch? Would you believe three in the last 40 years? A guy named Jesse Clark with the Packers in 1983, a guy named Adrian Peterson with the Vikings in 2007 and a guy named Corey Clement. It’s tough to project, but he can run, he can block, he can catch, he’s got a real flair for making big plays and a terrific knack in the red zone. Can’t wait to see him in an expanded role.

2. As for Blount, you can’t overstate his value to the Eagles last year, both as a running back and a leader. For a guy with his resume to come into that locker room and not once complain about his workload — even when he had no carries against the Chiefs — was remarkable. His selfless attitude really resonated with the young guys in the locker room. And I know a lot of fans were upset to see him go, but as incredible as his Super Bowl performance was, you can’t forget that in the seven games leading up to the Super Bowl he averaged 2.9 yards per carry. And he’s 31 years old. If the reported numbers are correct, Blount’s $4.5 million 2018 salary makes him the 12th-highest-paid running back in the league. Good for him. I wish him well. He was a huge part of that 2017 team. But it made no sense for the Eagles to bring him back.

3. It’s amazing how much money teams keep throwing at Sam Bradford. He’s got 34 wins in eight seasons, he’s never had a winning record, he’s never made a postseason, and on the rare occasions when he’s been healthy, he’s won only 43 percent of his starts. Oh, and he’s missed 42 games since 2013. “He’s our guy!”

4. Speaks volumes that both Blount and Torrey Smith singled out Duce Staley in their tweets or Instagram posts saying goodbye to Philly after joining new teams. Staley wasn’t even Smith’s position coach, and he still singled him out. Blount wrote: “To my main man Coach Duce Staley — You have impacted my life on and off the field and pushed me to be the best version of me I can be and for that I thank you!” Staley is such a natural leader and such a big part of what the Eagles accomplished in 2017. He’s going to be a head coach one day.

5. The Eagles lost Vinny Curry, but they have Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Michael Bennett and Chris Long. They lost Trey Burton and Brent Celek, but they have Zach Ertz. They lost Smith, but they have Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins. They lost Blount, but they have Jay Ajayi and Clement. They lost Patrick Robinson, but they have Sidney Jones, Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, Ronald Darby and Daryl Worley. They’ve lost a lot, but they’re still stocked at every position where they lost someone. Pretty darn good roster planning.

6. I feel like in the wake of Nick Foles’ brilliant postseason, people are forgetting exactly how good Carson Wentz was before he got hurt. So here’s a list of every quarterback in NFL history with 33 or more touchdown passes and seven or fewer interceptions in a season before his 30th birthday: Carson Wentz.

7. I wonder how much Haloti Ngata has left. He’s 34, he’s coming off a torn biceps, and he’s five years removed from his last Pro Bowl. Beau Allen was quietly a solid backup defensive tackle and played a big role in that D-line rotation the second half of the season after Tim Jernigan hurt his ankle. I don’t mind the signing. Ngata comes cheap and there’s really nothing to lose. But it’s been a while since he’s been a dominant player, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fits in.

8. If you’ve never been to Canton, Ohio, plan your trip now. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is a great place to visit any time. But the weekend of Brian Dawkins’ induction is going to be unforgettable. Dawk’s speech is going to be epic.

9. The Philly Special may be the greatest play in Eagles history, but where does the fourth-quarter, fourth-down conversion rank? The Eagles trailed with 5½ minutes left and faced a 4th-and-1 inside midfield when Foles converted a short completion to Ertz. If they don’t convert, they lose. That’s gotta be a top-10 all-time play. Maybe top-five.

10. Tight ends with more catches than Ertz in their first five NFL seasons: Kellen Winslow Sr., Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten and Antonio Gates.