Friday, December 26, 2014

Eagles getting healthy; Vick for first half, Kafka second

The Eagles are getting healthy as the regular season approaches. Starters will be kept out of harm's way Thursday, with Mike Vick and Mike Kafka each getting one half at quarterback.

Eagles getting healthy; Vick for first half, Kafka second

Center Jamaal Jackson continued practicing today. Andy Reid said Jackson had no swelling in his knee Monday. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Center Jamaal Jackson continued practicing today. Andy Reid said Jackson had no swelling in his knee Monday. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)

The Eagles are getting healthy as the regular season approaches. Guard Todd Herremans, who sat out Monday's practice after turning his right ankle -- after an off-season spent nursing his left foot -- was back on the field Tuesday for a light session before Thursday's preseason finale.

Center Jamaal Jackson continued practicing along with guard/center Nick Cole. Head coach Andy Reid said Jackson had no swelling in his knee after taking first-team snaps in Monday's practice.

"Today's an important day. It didn't swell. It's not sore, so he's feeling pretty good. He's sore, from his body from being hit so much yesterday, but the actual knee is well, and he feels strong so it's a positive thing," Reid said.

The center, trying to return from tearing an anterior cruciate ligament Dec. 27, is being eyed as a potential boost for an offensive line that has struggled through the preseason.

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Also back were linebacker Ernie Sims (forearm strain) and defensive end Trent Cole (sprained ankle), who was relieved to learn that his injury against the Chiefs was not more serious.

DeSean Jackson was out after getting his wisdom teeth out Monday, but his back, injured Friday against the Chiefs, is "feeling better," Reid said. Cornerback Dimitri Patterson (groin) sat out practice and so did linebacker Ricky Sapp, who had an MRI on his knee and may need surgery, according to Reid.

The starters should remain safe through their preparation for the Sept. 12 season opener. They won't be playing Thursday against the Jets.

Instead, the second and third-teamers will get all of the snaps with Michael Vick quarterbacking the first half and Mike Kafka leading the way in the second.

While most of the Eagles best-known players will be on the sidelines, the game will be a final audition for bubble players hoping to make a last impression on Eagles coaches or other teams. Players on the margins of the roster such as Macho Harris (back at safety) and running back Martell Mallett will get one more chance to show what they can do. The team will also get its first look at cornerback Jorrick Calvin, acquired in a trade Monday.

Calvin said he hopes to show off his return skills. He was in his white jersey Tuesday, but spent much of practice next to secondary coach Dick Jauron, receiving instructions on his new team's schemes. Reid said Calvin might get the chance to return kicks.

"I love to return. You play defense, you can't touch the ball too much, so I just want to go back to those high school days and just get your hands on the ball and move around with it," Calvin said.

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Birds' Eye View is the Inquirer's blog covering all things Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL.

Jeff McLane Inquirer Staff Writer
Zach Berman Inquirer Staff Writer
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