Eagles

Eagles' Jalen Mills has had enough 'screaming and shouting at the TV'

Eagles' Jalen Mills has had enough 'screaming and shouting at the TV'

It had been 354 days. 

A few days short of a year since Jalen Mills took his white No. 31 practice jersey off the hanger, donned shoulder pads, put on his helmet and played football.

Imagine not being able to do what you love for a year?

On Wednesday, for the first time since the Eagles-Jaguars game in London last October, Mills was out there on the field with his teammates. It was only a practice and not a game — yet — but it was a huge step for the fourth-year cornerback.

It was hard, for sure,” Mills said. “I’ve played this game all my life, I’ve never had this long an injury when I’m off the field. It was hard. I was out there [at practice], high-fiving everybody, trying to bring the energy.

Mills left the Jaguars game at Wembley with a sore foot that didn't seem like a huge deal at the time.

But he missed the rest of the season, rehabbed all offseason, spent the last month and a half on the PUP list, and on Wednesday he was finally eligible to practice.

Mills has never shared what the nature of the injury was. It really doesn't matter anymore.

Went good,” he said. “It’s the first day of school. Couple things I’ve got to sharpen up on, did a little bit after practice with Jenks (Malcolm Jenkins) and Coach (Cory) Undlin, but felt good. … I don’t feel any [pain]. I’m excited as hell.

What now?

The Eagles have a 21-day window starting Wednesday during which they can either shut him down for the year or activate him onto the 53-man roster. 

Mills made it clear what his perference is.

I’m aiming for Sunday,” he said. “It’s Coach’s call if I’m playing and how much I’m playing, but my mindset is always that I’m going to play. … At this point right now the mindset is playing the whole game.

That’s not going to happen. Even if Mills is activated and plays Sunday in Dallas, he’s not going to play a ton of snaps.

But he can help.

He hasn’t been totally healthy since the Super Bowl season or early last year — he won’t say — but when he’s on he’s a very good red-zone corner and considering the Eagles’ cornerback play of late, it can’t hurt getting him on the field ASAP.

Just being an addition to the secondary, being the competitor I am, knowing that I feel like I can make certain plays out there to help this team win, to help the secondary play better

Mills said he’s been running regularly with strength and conditioning coach Josh Hingst, and he said his conditioning was fine during practice.

But he knows there’s no way to prepare for football without playing football.

There’s no simulation for it,” he said. “You just gotta go out there and do it. You can run as many 110s, as many sprints as you want. At the end of the day, football conditioning’s football conditioning.

After playing 42 of a possible 43 games from the start of his rookie year through last October, he’s missed 16 games in a row.

Mills said the most challenging part of the last year has been game day, which he usually spends “screaming and shouting at the TV.”

That’s exactly the same thing most Eagles fans have been doing lately while watching the Eagles’ cornerbacks.

How much help Mills can provide remains to be seen. But for this team? Right now? 

Having a healthy, confident veteran who started on a Super Bowl team can only be a positive.

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Eagles Injury Update: Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor, Kamu Grugier-Hill miss practice again

Eagles Injury Update: Derek Barnett, Nelson Agholor, Kamu Grugier-Hill miss practice again

For the second straight day, the Eagles were without three key players at practice. 

Derek Barnett (ankle), Kamu Grugier-Hill (concussion) and Nelson Agholor (knee) all missed Friday’s session after also missing Thursday. 

It’s rare for players to miss the first two practice days of the week and play that weekend. 

Barnett, it seemed, hurt his ankle during the loss to the Dolphins but was able to finish the game, playing 50 snaps. This season, Barnett is second on the team in sacks with 4 1/2 and has played more snaps (78 percent) than any other defensive lineman. 

The only other defensive players to play more than him this season are Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. 

If Barnett can’t play on Monday, it’s likely Vinny Curry and Josh Sweat will see more playing time and perhaps Genard Avery will see a few more snaps. Maybe even Daeshon Hall or Shareef Miller might get to play a bit. 

Agholor has been dealing with his knee injury since the Patriots game. He missed the game against Seattle, but returned last week to play 63 snaps against the Dolphins. Last week, Agholor was limited in practice the first two days of the week and was not given a game status. 

If Agholor can’t play, Greg Ward could perhaps have a bigger role on Monday night. 

Meanwhile, Grugier-Hill didn’t report concussion symptoms until Thursday and was then placed into the NFL’s concussion protocol. Based on the timing of all that, it seems like a long shot that he’ll be able to play on Monday night. 

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Jerry Jones was BIG cranky on radio interview day after Cowboys' Week 14 loss to Bears

Jerry Jones was BIG cranky on radio interview day after Cowboys' Week 14 loss to Bears

The one bit of solace Eagles fans can take from the 2019 season so far is that it’s been a complete disaster for the Cowboys too. 

On Friday morning, the day after the Cowboys lost to the Bears to fall to 6-7, a cranky Jerry Jones joined 105.3 The Fan in Dallas for his weekly spot and the station had to briefly drop his call after two consecutive swear words in the interview. 

But Jones came out of the gate cranky. 

The Cowboys’ owner and GM was asked if he had any answers for the way the team is playing right now and his answer was short: 

“We’re not playing very well.”

Are you embarrassed? 

That was the question that set him off a little bit.  

Hey, get your damn act together yourself. OK? Now, we’re going to have a good visit this morning but settle down just a little bit. We’ve got a lot to go over, now go on with your question. But I’m going to give you the answers I want to give you this morning. And I don’t like your attitude to come in. I’ve been traveling all night and I don’t have the patience to jack with you today.

A little later, Jones was asked if he understands why there are so many questions about head coach Jason Garrett. 

Here was his answer with the swear word at the end. 

Of course I understand why they come up. Our fans are interested. They’re frustrated that we’re not playing better and I understand that and I know. That goes with the territory. And I fully expect to have those questions and I know that if you really think about it, if I did have answers as to different directions regarding talent … if I did, I would not share them right now. Because, first of all, if you’ve got other teams’ talent in mind, that’s tampering. Even if you had something in mind, unless they’re not involved in the National Football League right now and that wouldn’t be smart if they were involved other places. So we want to do a good job here, I want to do a good job with you guys but there’s a whole bunch of time where I have to bulls--- the hell out of you.

One of the hosts then said he totally understood that. 

To which, Jones replied: “Do you understand bulls---?” 

That was when the radio station’s system took over and dropped the call with the Cowboys owner. The program director explained that they had to hit the dump button twice in a short span of time and the system is designed to then kill all sound but the hosts. 

A bit later, Jones rejoined the program. 

“I had been talking the whole time,” Jones said. 

Strange interview, but definitely worth the listen. 

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