As the Eagles begin another week of OTAs, Mack Hollins remains on the shelf 16 months after undergoing sports hernia surgery.
Good news? Doug Pederson said he expects the third-year wide receiver to finally be able to practice at the start of training camp in late July.
At practice Monday, for the first time this offseason, we saw Hollins working out extensively on a side field, so that’s a good sign.
Hollins, wearing his new No. 16 jersey, was seen stretching for quite a while and then running an extended series of sprints with running back Josh Adams during practice.
Not every practice is open to the media, so it’s possible Hollins has done this before, but it’s the first time we’ve seen him in uniform since last August.
(Reuben Frank/NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"I'm optimistic with him that he'll be there for the start of training camp," Pederson said Monday.
By then, Hollins will be 18 months out from his initial surgery and presumably closer to 20 months out from when he was initially hurt, at some point late in the 2017 season.
Hopefully, Hollins is able to practice and play and have a healthy career. But this ordeal has been a very long one for the Eagles’ fourth-round draft pick in 2017, and at one point as early as last September he was confident it was behind him.
Hollins continued to play his rookie year and underwent surgery soon after the Eagles won the Super Bowl.
He appeared to be improving last summer and even appeared in a preseason game against the Steelers at the Linc on Aug. 9, playing 21 snaps on offense and four on special teams before shutting down again.
Standing at his locker the Tuesday before last year’s season opener, he pronounced himself healthy and ready to play that Thursday night against the Falcons.
Two days later, Pederson said Hollins had experienced a “minor setback” and would miss the Falcons game and then be further evaluated. But he wound up going on injured reserve and missed the entire season, eventually undergoing a second surgery at some point.
He’s continuing his rehab. He’s progressing. I’m not going to get into a lot of the specifics with him, but he’s doing well. It’s still the same previous injury.
Pederson was asked if Hollins had experienced any setbacks along the way, and he replied only, “No, not really.”
Asked for more specifics about the injury and why this injury has shelved the promising wide receiver for so long, Pederson said: “I’m not a doctor and I’m not going to get into all that. I don’t necessarily understand that. But he’s progressing well.”
Hollins, who hasn’t been in the locker room during any of the open media sessions this spring, did participate in the Eagles Autism Challenge 15-mile bike and said afterward he felt great.
So he’s healthy enough to ride a bike. Maybe at some point he’ll be healthy enough to play football as well.
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