Andrews back, sorta; and more

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Shawn Andrews has been sidelined for much of the preseason with a sore back. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

It's baby steps with Shawn Andrews and the Eagles tackle took another one today, participating in outdoor workouts with the training staff. Since the start of camp, Andrews -- who's been sidelined with a sore back -- has taken his treatment indoors.

Today he was one of several Eagles to go through a series of stretches and exercises. Fullback Leonard Weaver (knee), linebacker Omar Gaither (knee), defensive end Darren Howard (groin) and linebackers Tracy White (shoulder) and Charleston Hughes were right there alongside Andrews.

Tackle Jason Peters (quad) was back and took part in team drills, along with defensive end Trent Cole (shoulder), cornerback Sheldon Brown (ribs) and quarterback Kevin Kolb (knee).

The offensive line has been besieged with injuries, but coach Andy Reid said yesterday that Peters and guard Stacy Andrews (knee, still practicing) could play in the Eagles' third preseason game Thursday against the Jaguars.

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Jeremy Maclin hasn't had the type of debut that many were expecting out of the Eagles' top draft pick. Some of that may be attributed to a late start, but the wide receiver hasn't exactly dazzled in the first two preseason games.

Maclin muffed punt in the first game against the Patriots and dropped another the following week against the Colts.

"It's a huge concern and we can't have it," special team coordinator Ted Daisher said. "I met with him yesterday and he's aware of it."

Said Maclin: "He's [Daisher] just telling me you can't make a big play every time you touch the ball. Sometimes you have to do the right thing."

Maclin's receiving has been slightly better -- he has six catches for 70 yards -- but he wasn't expected to contribute to the offense right away. Because DeSean Jackson is going to have more of a role in the offense, the team thought that Maclin would lighten the second-year receiver's load by taking some returns.

It doesn't appear likely that coach Andy Reid would throw Maclin out there to field punts for the first regular season game. Jackson, meanwhile, hasn't returned a punt in the preseason, although Daisher said that he could this Thursday against the Jaguars.

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