If it seems like the Eagles' defensive line has been missing a certain something the last few weeks, that could be because it was. The front four should pack a little more punch this Sunday against the Falcons, now that Bennie Logan is healthy enough to return to the lineup.
"I feel good," Logan said Wednesday. "I'm very excited to get back out there Sunday and play.
"I've been taking it day by day. I'm not trying to be too aggressive at practice. I really just focus on trying to get comfortable, get myself back into shape to play on Sunday, but I'm definitely looking forward to getting back out there."
Logan missed the Eagles' last three games because of what he described as a "really serious groin injury," and while he was able to return to practice last week, it was only on a limited basis. Ultimately, it was determined that the fourth-year veteran wasn't fully recovered.
"I kind of thought I was ready last week to get out there, but when I went to practice, it wasn't really feeling the way I was expecting it to," Logan said.
"I had to be smart about it because I really didn't want to miss any more weeks. I did [individual drills] and things I could. I did a couple reps in blitz period, but I didn't really feel as explosive as I know I should've felt, so I kind of just backed away from it, and then I wasn't really cleared, so I wasn't trying to push it."
There's no question the Eagles' defense wasn't quite the same without Logan.
The Eagles forced four turnovers and sacked Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford six times behind a patchwork offensive line in Logan's first game on the sideline. The past two weeks have been a far different story, however, as the Cowboys racked up 460 yards of total offense and the line registered just two hits on Giants signal-caller Eli Manning and five tackles behind the line of scrimmage — both losses.
Logan also missed much of the game against the Redskins because of the injury, another loss in which the Eagles' defense surrendered 230 yards rushing.
Always humble, Logan denied that he was the difference, but admitted the defensive line needed to improve.
"I really can't say me being in there would've been a big factor," Logan said. "We just have to play together. We have to do things that we were earlier in the season that made us successful."
Logan is a huge reason for that early success. The 6-foot-2, 315-pound defensive tackle answered questions as to whether he was a fit for the wide-nine defensive front, matching his career high of two sacks in only five games this season. He also has three quarterback hits and three tackles for loss.
The Eagles sure could use that kind of impact against the Falcons, who boast the No. 1 scoring offense in the NFL. Logan knows his teammates along the defensive line are counting on his presence this week.
"It was very frustrating to me and very stressful to be watching instead of being out there helping and contributing," Logan said.
"I've got to bring a lot of energy. Those guys have been grinding out these past weeks, so it's my turn to come out there and help lift them up and go out there and compete."
Logan says he is looking forward to getting back on the field and having fun, too. The Eagles are hoping that and good health will translate into a disruptive force in the middle of their defense again.