BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- It must have seemed like a mirage.
There in the distance, running on one of the fields at Lehigh, early Thursday morning, were the two Eagles veterans that skipped the last week of OTAs in June -- DeSean Jackson and Asante Samuel.
One might have been inclined to think that the Pro Bowl wide receiver and cornerback were running sprints as some form of punishment for missing OTAs, but a team source said that wasn't the case. They were simply completing the conditioning test that the rest of the team had to pass in June. According to the source, Jackson and Samuel passed and are ready to go when the full team works out Friday morning.
Jackson tweeted that he had to run 12 100-yard dashes with a 45-second rest in between each. "Ima kill it," he wrote.
When Jackson was spotted later in the day pulling into the dorm parking lot in his black Porsche, reporters approached the star receiver, who said in reply, "I'm not talking."
He then got back in his car and picked up Samuel, who was waiting nearby, and drove to another lot to park. Many of the other veterans, however, did stop to talk -- linebacker Stewart Bradley, tight end Brent Celek, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and running back LeSean McCoy were among the early arrivals. According to Celek, the Eagles are Super Bowl contenders.
"If I didn't think we could win the Super Bowl, I wouldn't be standing here," Celek said. "I would take my butt back home and sit on the couch."
Jackson and Samuel decided to skip the last week of voluntary workouts a month ago. Some believed Jackson's absence was related to his unhapiness with his contract. Sources close to the receiver said that wasn't the case. Samuel doesn't normally attend the last week of OTAs, although the team said he missed the workouts because of a death in the family.
Several other vets, meanwhile, have already checked into their dorms. The rest of the players will continue to check in throughout the day in time for a 7 p.m. team meeting.
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