No Practice for Asante

Asante Samuel leads the NFL with seven interceptions. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Asante Samuel again missed practice, as the Eagles prepared to work out in their NovaCare bubble, amid fluffy Thanksgiving snow flurries in South Philly that turned to sleet.Asante, seldom at a loss for words

Samuel suffered an MCL strain in last Sunday's victory over the Giants, and there seem to be strong hints from teammates and coaches that he won't play against the Bears this week, though officially Samuel is "day-to-day."

Samuel said after practice that his knee feels better today than yesterday. He said he is taking treatment and still hoping to play.

Samuel leads the league in interceptions,, with seven, for the team that leads the NFL in picks, with 19.

"You're talking about a lot of production there," Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott noted. "When they're throwing the ball around, he'snice to have on the field, obviously. He's a great player, one of the best corners in the league, if not the best ... That said, we have a lot of confidence in (Joselio) Hanson and what he can do, as well."

This season, Samuel has emerged as a vocal leader of an aggressive defense. Hanson's skill-set aside, does missing Samuel change the defense's personality?

"It shouldn't, and I hope it doesn't, because that's what we do," McDermott said. "We're a defense that plays physical football, emotional football, and we attack the offense. No matter who's in there, that's not gonna change. We expect whoever steps in, if that (Samuel being out) is the case, for them to play at a high level."

McDermott lauded middle linebacker Stewart Bradley's recent strong play, as he continues his comeback from 2009 ACL surgery.

"We're entering a period of time now where Stewart's getting himself totally back. You saw that Sunday night, and really, you've seen it the last three or four weeks with his production and consistency. I think with each week that passes he continues to get more and more comfortable, and with that comes more and more confidence, and then the sky's the limit."

Antonio Dixon left practice with an ab strain, the team said. No details were available. Juqua Parker (hip) did not practice and seems unlikely to play in Chicago.


Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg called running back LeSean McCoy "very tough mentally and physically." Mornhinweg indicated that the shoulder injury McCoy has played through would have sidelined some players for at least a few weeks.

Mornhinweg called the Bears' defense "maybe the best in the league."

"Very difficult to find a weakness ... Very disciplined with what they do," Mornhinweg said. "They're No. 1 in giving up (the fewest) points, and that's the key' even if Chicago doesn't get a huge number of sacks.

Mornhinweg said the Bears try to force you to throw underneath, but their speed in getting to the ball really limits the gains available there.


Special teams coordinator Bobby April reaffirmed his faith in returner Jorrick Calvin. Calvin was benched after a couple of bobbles against the Redskins, but now has been dusted off, with Ellis Hobbs going on IR after a neck injury suffered on a return against the Giants.