After Ellis Hobbs took a hit to the head returning a kickoff against the Cowboys last Nov. 8, it was hard to see him ending up where he is today, the starting right corner for the Eagles heading into training camp.
One problem was, after arriving in a trade last year from New England,* Hobbs had been given a chance to wrest a starting role away from disgruntled incumbent Sheldon Brown, and hadn't done that. He was playing only situationally, and not that well. But a more pressing problem was that Hobbs couldn't feel his legs.
"For a brief second, I couldn't move. I stood up, after what seemed like an eternity -- maybe five seconds or so," Hobbs recalled after taking part in much of yesterday's Eagles camp for rookies and select vets. "Walking funny afterwards. The doctors sitting right there, seeing me on the sideline, said I had every symptom of, basically, the type of injury I had -- a disc that came out. It's just one of those things where, after the fact, you look at it (as being) more scary than when it did happen."
Eagles coach Andy Reid said the next day that Hobbs' neck injury could be career-threatening. It ended his season. Ultimately, an anterior cervical decompression and fusion gave him the green light to return to football. When the Eagles traded Brown to Cleveland this offseason, general manager Howie Roseman identified Hobbs as the new starter opposite Asante Samuel -- reuniting New England's starting corners from 2007. Many observers wondered if that indeed would be the case by September; it was at least mildly surprising that the Birds waited until the fourth round of last month's draft to tab a corner, taking Kentucky's Trevard Lindley there. Some people feel there still could be a move for vet coming.