BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — It appears Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski still hasn't cleared the NFL's concussion protocol, but he's getting closer.
As the Patriots kicked off their practice at the Vikings' indoor facility on Wednesday, Gronkowski was a limited participant in their fully-padded practice.
Defensive linemen Deatrich Wise (concussion) and Malcolm Butler (illness) were also limited.
The only Eagles' player to miss practice was Tim Jernigan; he's sick. He also missed the Eagles' media session and was sick last week. Jernigan wasn't the only player to have a cold last week. Kenjon Barner missed a day because of illness and head coach Doug Pederson was also a little under the weather.
Fletcher Cox (calf), Jay Ajayi (ankle) and Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) were all listed as full participants on the Eagles' injury report.
Tom Brady practiced with just black tape on his right throwing hand where stitches used to be, according to a pool report. Brady showed up to media night on Monday wearing black gloves. On Wednesday, Brady was a full participant, leading the Patriots in red zone and then situational 11-on-11 drills.
The Patriots practiced on Wednesday morning at the Vikings' facility for about two hours, while the Eagles practiced this afternoon at the University of Minnesota.
The Eagles' practice on Wednesday was their first of the week. Many players were looking forward to getting back on the field. They'll resume practice at the University of Minnesota on Thursday and Friday.
On the latest edition of Eagle Eye, a Philadelphia Eagles podcast, Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks share stories from their fishing trip over the weekend. Is it believable when the Eagles keep calling themselves underdogs? How OTAs are different today compared to when Barrett played. Also, Johnny Manziel is playing football again. Will we ever see him back in the NFL?
Also, how Barrett won an Emmy working on Hard Knocks.
1:00 - Gunner and Barrett's weekend fishing trip.
5:00 - Guys caught a hot streak fishing.
6:30 - What is Gunner's family like?
10:30 - Do you believe it when the Eagles use an underdog mindset?
14:30 - Difference between OTA's today compared to when Barrett played.
17:00 - Barrett won an Emmy working on Hard Knocks
21:00 - Guys think the Browns (yes those Browns) will be competitive this season.
25:30 - Johnny Manziel is back in football.
Subscribe to Eagle Eye: Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19
For a long time, Zach Ertz has always said that he’s emulated future Hall of Famer Jason Witten. Ertz loved the way he played and the way he handled himself on and off the field.
Turns out it’s mutual.
Because after Ertz went on social media to say goodbye to Witten after the longtime Dallas Cowboy retired recently, Witten returned the favor and praised Ertz.
That’s pretty crazy. Witten played 15 years, a total of 247 games including the playoffs. And, according to him, the only other person to ever leave the field with his jersey is Ertz. It's become commonplace for players in the league to trade jerseys after games. During an NFL season, a peek into someone's locker will reveal a few jerseys of different colors. Witten's was probably be in demand, but Ertz is the only player to ever get one.
It’s clear that Ertz gained Witten’s respect and Witten has probably heard the praise from Ertz before. He heard it again when Ertz tweeted earlier in May.
“First off, I want to say congratulations to someone that had a profound impact on my career, by just being the man he is!” Ertz wrote. “At 17 years old when I was trying to figure out what a tight end meant and what they embodies I started following the tight end for the Cowboys. Everything he did on the field and off, I tried to emulate.”
Oddly enough, this season Ertz made his first Pro Bowl, but couldn’t go because the Eagles were in the Super Bowl. Guess who took his place? Yup, Witten.
Earlier this spring, Ertz said it’s strange to think that other tight ends are now growing up and trying to emulate him. He’s just trying to set as good an example as Witten did.