BETHLEHEM --- At least Eldra Buckley keeps on ticking, though he dropped a couple of passes this morning, which might be a sign that extra reps are taking their toll on the sturdy running back.
.The Eagles practiced this morning without starter LeSean McCoy, who is sidelined with a quad contusion, the team said, and his top backup, Mike Bell, who strained a calf yesterday when he returned from a two-week hamstring absence. Martell Mallett, also logging many reps, left near the end of today's morning practice after a low tackle from rookie Trevard Lindley hyperextended Mallett's knee. Mallett returned for the afternoon special teams practice.
RB J.J. Arrington, who has been rarely seen since the trade from the Broncos, was back on the field in a limited role.
Safety Quintin Demps, who suffered a bone bruise (knee) against Jacksonville, was full-go for the afternoon practice. Center Nick Cole, part of Sunday afternoon's indoor practice, was no where to be found on the field Monday. LG Todd Herremans and C Jamaal Jackson continued to be partial participants. Herremans took a few live snaps Monday morning.
Nobody would have taken much notice, if this had been the first time.
Ernie Sims and Brent Celek ran together as Celek went for a pass during a nontackling passing drill this morning. Observers saw them about to collide head-on at the goalline and figured they would turn and fall together, as outfielders do, or perhaps grab one another to cushion the blow.
Instead, Sims raised a forearm and drilled Celek with it, the tight end's head bouncing off the turf. Celek stayed down a few seconds, tended by head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder, while head coach Andy Reid glowered at Sims and bystanders murmered.
It wasn't the first time. Was maybe the third or fourth time the new weakside linebacker has come close to seriously injuring a teammate at Lehigh, often in nontackling situations, where the offensive player isn't expecting to get drilled.
"It all started the play before," Sims said. "Leonard Weaver came through the hole and he actually got across the goalline. (Defensive coordinator) Sean McDermott wasn't happy about it, and he put a little fire in us. Next play, I took advantage of an opportunity and took a shot on Celek.
"It's something that I've got to start toning down."
Sims said Reid told him "pretty much, just 'take care of the teammates.' "
Sims said he hadn't had a chance to talk to Celek.
"We good. We're out here playing, football, we're out here working hard. At the end of the day, both of us understand that we got our goals," Sims said.
"It's part of football, man," Celek said. "That's Ernie's personality, and it's not like he's faking it here; he'll do that stuff in a game. If he was just doing it in practice and not doing it in a game, then yeah, I'd be mad, but that's how he is, man. He's full-speed all the time ... I'm not gonna let Ernie know that it hurt, 'cause it didn't, really."
McDermott was asked his view.
"Good teams know how to practice," McDermott said. "We obviously want to be a good team, so we've got know how to practice together, to take care of each other. That said, I want an attitude. Ernie is part of that attitude and aggressiveness. From a defensive standpoint, when you're NOT playing against your own teammates, you don't let 'em cross the goalline. But we've got to keep in mind that these are our teammates, and learn to take care of one another at the same time.
"I think I made the comment in the spring that there's a shark in the water; you guys have seen him. He's extremely fast, and he's got one speed and one mindset. I think he wakes up, like, mad at his alarm clock ... He's been a joy to have here and a joy to be around. I love his attitude."
Other notable moments from a cloudy, muggy morning:
*In the no-huddle drill, Kevin Kolb connected with Jeremy Maclin on a nice slant, then found Maclin again, farther down the left sideline, over Ellis Hobbs.
*DeSean Jackson briefly left practice to get some medical tent attention, then returned and blew past Asante Samuel, down the right side for a touchdown bomb from Kolb.
*Chad Hall, built low to the ground, made a nice scoop on a ground-hugging Kolb pass.
*Stewart Bradley blitzed right up the gut and batted down a Kolb pass.
*Trent Cole also rejected a Kolb pass attempt.
*The offense got crisp blocking for a red-zone screen to Martell Mallett that went for a touchdown. Later, Mallett took a Kolb shovel pass for a TD, hugged almost from the second he got the ball by Juqua Parker. The defense argued vehemently that Mallett had not scored.
For our other post today about the return of DE Eric Moncur and the impending addition of a safety, click here.