The most significant moment of the first morning of full-contact drills at Eagles' training camp was little-noticed by the Lehigh crowd. In a noncontact 7-on-7 drill just before 10 a.m., Asante Samuel limped off. Samuel and Eagles athletic trainer Rick Burkholder walked to the locker room.
Eagles coach Andy Reid said the Birds' $57 million free agent signee strained the opposite hamstring from the one that kept him out of the final week of minicamp work last month. "We'll just see how he does with that," Reid said.
Suddenly, Lito Sheppard didn't have to rotate in with the first-team defense; he was back at his old left corner spot.
"That's just until the man gets back healthy," Sheppard said
Samuel, who had been scheduled to appear in the news conference tent Saturday, canceled his appearance. Reid typically asks injured players not to detail their situations.
A hamstring injury is not earth-shattering, unless it lingers.
"Gingerly, but he was able to walk off. That's a good sign," free safety Brian Dawkins said.
Later, Samuel left the Lehigh locker room with no trace of a limp. In fact, he was able to climb into Sheppard's ginormous 4x4 pickup for the ride back to the dorms.
Fullback Luke Lawton and left tackle Tra Thomas left late in practice with cramps. Team president Joe Banner said nothing was new in the Shawn Andrews situation. The Eagles' starting right guard has not reported to camp. He was scheduled to meet today with agent Rich Moran.
"It is a personal situation," Banner said. "We want to respect his privacy."
Asked if Andrews is being fined, Banner said: "We'd like to keep that internal as well."
Banner said there are no meetings scheduled right now with Todd France, the new agent for Brian Westbrook.
Banner met before camp started with Drew Rosenhaus, new agent for Lito Sheppard, but the Eagles don't seem interested in trading Sheppard right now -- however slim those chances were, they got even slimmer when Samuel limped off -- or in redoing Sheppard's contract.
Both Westbbrook and Sheppard said this week that they expect movement in their situations -- Westbrook a new deal, Sheppard, presumably, a trade.
"I obviously hear it," Banner said, when asked about those remarks. "We have to do what we think is right and fair ... hopefully, it will overlap with what they think is right and fair."
Asked if he felt the Eagles have treated Westbrook and Sheppard fairly, Banner said: "Yes."
Did Westbrook and Sheppard help themselves with the Eagles by showing up on time?
"You do appreciate that they're doing the right thing," Banner said.. "There's certainly a psychological component to negotiating, and it helps for us to feel good about the way they're acting, hopefully, for them to feel we're acting in good faith -- that's definitely a positive."