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Eagles get back middle linebacker for Super Bowl LII

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Eagles

Eagles get back middle linebacker for Super Bowl LII

MINNEAPOLIS — The next hour and a half is just the calm before the storm. The Eagles are about to play in Super Bowl LII. 

For the game, they'll get back middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. The 32-year-old missed the NFC Championship Game with a hamstring injury, but he wasn't missing this one. 

The same can be said for Tim Jernigan and Ronald Darby, who both dealt with illness this week in Minnesota. They're active and ready to go; just keep an eye on them to see if they get a little fatigued. 

Here are the Eagles' inactive players: Wendell Smallwood, Marcus Johnson, Elijah Qualls, Steven Means, Sidney Jones, Will Beatty, Destiny Vaeao. 

With Vaeao inactive, the Eagles are going with three active defensive tackles, something they did against the Falcons in the divisional game. Expect Fletcher Cox to play nearly the whole game on Sunday night. 

Patriots inactives: RB Mike Gillislee, DL Alan Branch, LB David Harris, OL Cole Croston, WR Kenny Britt, TE Jake Hollister, WR Bernard Reedy. 

Illness not a worry for trio of Eagles

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AP Images

Illness not a worry for trio of Eagles

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Tim Jernigan, Ronald Darby and Nelson Agholor, who all were affected by a bug during the team's week in Minnesota, were all feeling better Saturday and all participated in the team's brief walkthrough at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Head coach Doug Pederson told a league-appointed pool reporter after the walkthrough all three players affected by symptoms were fine. Jernigan is the only that missed practice, but he returned to work on Friday.

After three days of practice at the University of Minnesota, the Eagles held a 30-minute walkthrough Saturday at the stadium where they'll play the Patriots in Super Bowl LII on Sunday.

“It puts it into perspective now,” Pederson told pool reporter Kimberly A. Martin of the Washington Post.

“I think they can see it, when you’re on this field and you see everything around the stadium, you can feel it. It puts it all right there for us.”

Pederson said practicing in the stadium allows the players to get the "lay of the land" and "soak it all in."

Pederson confirmed that Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, his teammate on the Super Bowl-champion 1996 Packers, addressed the team earlier Saturday at the team hotel in Bloomington, but he declined to talk about Favre's message.  

Earlier in the day, the Patriots gathered at the stadium but only for a series of photos with players and their families.

"The families go through so much," Bill Belichick told AFC pool reporter Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.

"They sacrifice so much for all of us and the time that we spend away and the strain that a season puts on them. So it's great to have them all here and it's great to give them an opportunity to be with their sons, daughters, husbands and to bring their family in and take pictures on the field and just kind of enjoy the day.

“It's a nice event for everybody — the players and families, and the team picture with the kids. Everybody will look back on this."

Nick Foles, Eagles have 'heck of a practice'

Nick Foles, Eagles have 'heck of a practice'

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said he expects ailing defensive tackle Tim Jernigan to play in Super Bowl LII Sunday.

Jernigan missed practice back in Philadelphia last Friday and has missed both practices in Minnesota since the Eagles arrived here. The Eagles are scheduled to practice again on Friday.

“Because of the position and he’s one of our veteran guys, I do feel comfortable that he’ll be ready,” Pederson told NFL-designated pool reporter Kimberley A. Martin of the Washington Post.

Jernigan was not present during the hour-long media availability earlier in the day. Cornerback Ronald Darby was also missing and is also sick, but he was a full participant at practice. 

The pool report said the Eagles plan to keep Jernigan “as hydrated as possible.”

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (calf), running back Jay Ajayi (ankle) and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe were also full participants.

According to the pool report, defensive end Vinny Curry left practice briefly and was examined by trainers after getting several fingers on his left hand caught in a teammate’s facemask.

“He’s fine,” Pederson said. “He shook it off. He’s good.” 

The Eagles practiced indoors Thursday  at the Gibson-Nagurski Complex on the campus of the University of Minnesota, about 12 miles from their hotel in Bloomington.

“Had a heck of a practice today,” Pederson said. “Guys were flying around. Definitely picked it up. We had three days off before we got on the field [Wednesday], so this is what typically we would see in practice.”

The Eagles worked on short yardage, goal line and third down during the one-hour, 45-minute practice, according to the pool report. 

According to the pool report, quarterback Nick Foles “was in a groove, firing off intermediate passes and deep balls downfield with confidence and ease.”

Foles, Carson Wentz’s backup most of the year, will start at quarterback for the Eagles in Super Bowl LII Sunday against the Patriots.

“Nick was really sharp again,” Pederson said. “Real sharp. He was accurate with his passes, smart in the run game. 

“And Nate just seems to sort of always impress. Every day he comes out here, he’s ready to work. I know it’s service team stuff, but he makes our defense work.”

Pederson also singled out cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Darby.

“They really focused in on their assignments,” Pederson said. “They’ve got a tough task with the Patriots, some of these small, quicker receivers. But they both had really good days today.”

Mike Holmgren, Pederson’s coach with the Packers from 1996 through 1998, attended practice. The Packers won Super Bowl XXXI after the 1996 season with Pederson backing up Brett Favre. Favre is scheduled to speak to the Eagles Saturday morning (see story).

“It’s fun to have him out there,” Pederson said.