Rasul Douglas won't let himself be forgotten

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Rasul Douglas won't let himself be forgotten

The perfect gameplan for Rasul Douglas’ rookie season was to let him slowly develop behind more seasoned vets in the Eagles' defensive backfield, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Douglas was thrown into the NFL fire early and often.

When Ronald Darby dislocated his right ankle in the season opener in Washington, Douglas was the next man up. The third-round pick out of West Virginia played 39 of the Eagles' 53 defensive snaps against Kansas City the following week. That was an early omen as Douglas would average 42 snaps over his first eight professional games. 

For the most part, Douglas held his own and made plays in between the typical rookie mistakes here and there, but he earned the praise of his defensive backs coach, Cory Undlin. But after playing 37 snaps in a Week 9 romp over Denver, all of a sudden Douglas disappeared from the cornerback rotation. The snap counts over his next six games after the win over the Broncos: zero vs. Dallas, 11 vs. Chicago, one vs. Seattle, zero vs. Los Angeles, inactive vs. New York and four against Oakland. 

Douglas won't fall into the mindset that he's a forgotten entity.

"You just gotta try to stay up, keep preparing as if you’re the starter," Douglas said after the regular-season finale vs. the Cowboys. "You don’t really get those reps in practice. You just gotta take advantage of the reps you do get and get better in those."

With Doug Pederson's deciding to give a number of his starters most of Sunday’s meaningless game vs. Dallas off, Douglas finally was back in the mix. He played all 68 snaps against the Cowboys. 

It was a bone-chilling day at Lincoln Financial Field, but for a guy who had played just 16 snaps the previous six games, it didn’t take long for him to find his footing. He was satisfied with his overall game except for the lone score given up, which he was responsible for on a 20-yard strike from Dak Prescott to Brice Butler. 

"It was cold out there, but I didn’t feel rusty at all," said Douglas, who's amassed 25 tackles and two picks on the season. "You gotta get your feet back together, get your groove on, how you do stuff and you’re fine. We were in zero coverage and [Butler] was giving me double moves. Then he ran a slant and I gave it up. That’s on me. I can’t let anyone get outside. But I'd rather them throw a fade instead of a slant."
It’s yet to be determined how much Douglas will be used in the playoffs, if any. But his approach will not waver. 

“I just gotta keep working every day I come to practice, just do like I’ve been doing," Douglas said. "Pick something to get better at and improve as I can."

Nick Foles is still beating Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr. in one category

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Nick Foles is still beating Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr. in one category

Would you believe that since March 1, Nick Foles is responsible for more NFL gear being sold than Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr.?

In 2018 second-quarter sales, Foles ranks eighth in the NFL among licensed products sold. The other nine guys are either starting quarterbacks or elite skill players.

Here's the list:

1. Tom Brady
2. Dak Prescott
3. Carson Wentz
4. Ezekiel Elliott
5. Aaron Rodgers
6. Saquon Barkley
7. Jimmy Garoppolo
8. Nick Foles
9. Antonio Brown
10. Odell Beckham Jr.

Zach Ertz was 18th on the list, three spots below Rob Gronkowski and two below Julio Jones. No other Eagle was among the top 50. 

This, yet again, shows the power of Philly sports fans and the power of Foles' own Cinderella story last year. 

It's also another example of the Eagles beating down on the Giants. Their backup QB is more popular than the highest-paid receiver in football.

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Eagles injury update: Lane Johnson back at practice

NBC Sports Philadelphia

Eagles injury update: Lane Johnson back at practice

Updated: 4:04 p.m.

Lane Johnson showed up to Thursday’s practice with a helmet and was a limited participant. 

That’s good news after Johnson did not practice on Wednesday. He’s dealing with a high ankle sprain that he battled through a week ago against the Giants. 

He’ll likely try to tough it out again this Sunday. 

All four players listed as limited on Wednesday were back at practice on Thursday: Carson Wentz (back), Haloti Ngata (calf), Jason Peters (biceps), Derek Barnett (shoulder). 

It was a good sign to see Peters on the field once again. He’s going to attempt to play through a partially torn biceps on Sunday and going forward. 

Wentz just missed a few snaps on Wednesday; it's nothing serious. 

Here's the full injury report from Thursday: 

Did not practice: D.J. Alexander (quad), Nate Gerry (ankle, knee), Corey Graham (hamstring), Sidney Jones (hamstring), Darren Sproles (hamstring), Rasul Douglas (not injury related) 

Limited: Lane Johnson (ankle), Jalen Mills (hamstring), Haloti Ngata (calf)

Full: Derek Barnett (shoulder), Jason Peters (biceps), Carson Wentz (back) 

Mills is a new addition to the report. Good news that Barnett and Peters were full participants. 

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