Eagles Insider

Graham improving as he returns to practice

Eagles Insider

Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham was back at practice Thursday, four days after suffering a concussion during the Eagles opener in Washington.

That does not mean he’s been cleared through the NFL’s concussion protocol, but it does mean he is progressing rapidly through the five-step process.

Graham suffered a head injury early in the fourth quarter of the Eagles’ opening-day loss and didn’t return.

According to the NFL’s concussion protocol, a player can participate in non-contact practice - such as the Eagles’ session Thursday - after progressing through the first four of the five phases.

If B.G. progresses through the fifth and final phase he’ll be cleared by an independent neurologist to play Sunday in the Eagles’ home opener against the Rams at the Linc.

In the first phase, a player must rest and stay away from all physical activities. In phase two, he can participate in light aerobic activities and in phase three he can participate in more strenuous non-football activities. Phase four is non-contact work and phase five is a complete return to football.

Players are advanced through particular phases based on their improvement in neurological tests compared to a baseline test taken before the season.

Graham has not missed a game due to injury since he missed the last three games of 2010 with a torn ACL. His 144 games played are 15th-most in Eagles history and third-most among defensive linemen.

Graham ranks fifth in Eagles history with 51 sacks. He needs four to pass Hugh Douglas and move into fourth place.