Eagles

Eagles injury update: Nigel Bradham returning to practice field

Eagles injury update: Nigel Bradham returning to practice field

Updated: 4:21 p.m.

Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham, who has missed the last four games with an ankle injury, returned to practice today. He was a full participant.  

Bradham, 30, hasn’t played since the Vikings game on Oct. 13.

On Tuesday, Bradham wasn’t sure if he’d be ready for this Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. 

“Hopefully,” he said. “That’s the goal, but can’t force it.” 

Getting their top linebacker back would be a huge boost for the Eagles. Since Bradham has been out, Nate Gerry has assumed defensive play call responsibilities. While Jim Schwartz wouldn’t say the plan for when Bradham returns, it would stand to reason that Bradham would take back that job. 

“It’s been difficult (to miss games), not being out there to contribute with the team,” Bradham said. “It’s obviously tough, but I think our young guys are doing well. We just gotta keep motivating them and keep them going until the time I can come back.” 

Here are a few other injury updates from Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex: 

Lane Johnson: Johnson is still in the concussion protocol and the Eagles are preparing to play on Sunday without him. That means rookie Andre Dillard will spend the week getting first-team reps at right tackle. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who struggled after replacing Johnson on Sunday, will be the swing tackle. 

For the most part, Dillard has only ever played left tackle, so this will be an important week of practice for the first-round pick. 

Jordan Howard: The Eagles’ workhorse running back still hasn’t been cleared for contact and won’t be allowed to play until that happens. Howard suffered a stinger in the Bears game on Nov. 3 and even with the bye, missed the Patriots game on Sunday. He was a limited participant in practice until he gets cleared, which means he’ll participate in individual drills. 

Pederson said Howard is improving. “It’s just a slow process right now,” he added.

If Howard can’t play this coming Sunday, it’s possible Jay Ajayi could find a role. Pederson emphasized on Wednesday, though, that the Eagles re-signed Ajayi to fill Darren Sproles’ roster spot and it had nothing to do with Howard, despite their similar playing styles. Still, Howard’s injury could create opportunity for Ajayi. 

Alshon Jeffery: Jeffery (ankle) was a limited participant in practice this week. He suffered his injury against the Bears and missed the Patriots game. 

Nelson Agholor: Agholor missed Wednesday's practice with a knee injury. Agholor banged his knee pretty hard on the ground in the end zone on that fourth down play in the fourth quarter Sunday. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

NFL officially expands playoff format in time for 2020 playoffs

NFL officially expands playoff format in time for 2020 playoffs

The NFL has officially expanded its playoff format to 14 teams in time for the 2020 season. 

Starting with this upcoming season, the playoff field will expand from 12 to 14 teams, allowing one more wild-card team from each conference. 

Here are a few of the major points of this new format: 

• The AFC and NFC will each have seven playoff teams, but just the top seed from each conference will have a first-round bye in the playoffs. 

• In wild-card weekend, the other 12 teams will play — the No. 2 seeds will host 7s, the No. 3 seeds will host 6s and the No. 4 seeds will host 5s. 

• For this upcoming season, wild-card weekend will have three games on Saturday, Jan. 9 and three games on Sunday, Jan. 10. 

• One of the additional wild-card games will be on CBS on Jan. 10 at 4:40 p.m. The other will be on NBC on Jan. 10 at 8:15 p.m.

This is the NFL’s first expansion of the playoff format since the 1990 season, when the field went from 10 to 12. 

The Eagles made the playoffs as a division winner with a 9-7 record in 2019 and that would still be an option with this new format. This change simply adds another playoff team in each conference. In the 2019 NFC that would have been the 9-7 Rams. 

If you’re looking for a recent example in Eagles history of how this new format would’ve helped, look back at the 2014 season. The Eagles finished with a 10-6 record in Chip Kelly’s second season but missed the postseason. If this format was around, they would have been the third wild-card team after the 11-win Lions and Cardinals. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Jalen Mills changes number to recreate himself like Kobe and LeBron

Jalen Mills changes number to recreate himself like Kobe and LeBron

Entering his fifth year in the NFL, Jalen Mills won’t just have a new position. 

He’s going to have a new number too. 

In his first four seasons in the NFL, Mills wore No. 31. But recent signing Nickell Robey-Coleman is going to take over that number and Mills is going to jump to No. 21 after Ronald Darby left for Washington as a free agent. 

Mills explained the jersey number change on a conference call Tuesday: 

I think the number change is just a new beginning. One of the guys that always motivated me was a Kobe Bryant or a LeBron James. You see Kobe went from 8 to 24, you know, LeBron went from 6 to 23 (LeBron actually went from 23 to 6 to 23). It’s just recreating myself. Recreating that Green Goblin, that monster. It’s a new position, it’s a new feel, and it’s going to be new energy.

Mills, 25, signed a one-year, $4 million deal to return to the Eagles this offseason. He said there were some other teams interested in him, but he feels like there’s “unfinished business” in Philly and thinks the Eagles have a shot at returning to the Super Bowl. 

While no other teams wanted Mills to play safety, the Eagles will have him play a hybrid defensive back position to help replace Malcolm Jenkins, whom they let walk. Those are big shoes to fill, but Mills seems confident — doesn’t he always? — that he’ll be able to get the job done.

If he does, he’ll be wearing the No. 21, which has been a strong number in Eagles history. It was once worn by Eric Allen for seven seasons and Bobby Taylor for nine. 

In recent years, Darby took over the 21 in 2018 after Patrick Robinson left in free agency to re-join the Saints. 

Here’s a list of every Eagles player to ever wear No. 21 in a game: 

James Zyntell, Les Maynard, Paul Cuba, John Kusko, Herschel Stockton, Allison White, Chuck Cherundolo, William Boedeker, Al Pollard, Jim Carr, Joe Scarpati, Ray Jones, Jackie Allen, Wes Chesson, Al Clark, John Sciarra, Evan Cooper, Eric Allen, Bobby Taylor, Matt Ware, William James, Joselio Hanson, David Sims, Roc Carmichael, Jerome Couplin, Leodis McKelvin, Patrick Robinson, Ronald Darby

Mills will add his name to that list soon enough. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles