BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Steve Smith said that he doesn't expect to play in the preseason, but the recently-acquired wide receiver said he could be back earlier than many -- including former coach Tom Coughlin -- had forecast.
"Probably not," Smith said about playing in one or all of the Eagles' final three preseason games. "Maybe Week 1 -- maybe that's when I'll start practicing."
Smith is trying to recover from December microfracture knee surgery in time for the start of the season. The former Giants receiver has been in uniform since Saturday working out with the Eagles' other injured players.
"It just feels like it's weaker than the other one but it feels great when I'm running and cutting," Smith said of his knee. "So I haven't been having any setbacks."
Without any future setbacks Smith said that he anticipated starting the season on the Eagles' 53-man roster and not remain on the Physically Unable to Perform List. Players on PUP at the start of the season can't play any earlier than Game 7.
Smith is also trying to blend in with his new teammates. He may have trouble winning over a certain running back. During the summer, LeSean McCoy and Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora mixed it up on Twitter. Smith jumped into the fray by reminding McCoy that the Eagles have never won a Super Bowl.
Smith said last Wednesday, after the Eagles signed him, that he was going to walk up and hug McCoy and try to make amends on the first day he reported to training camp.
"I talked to him the first day and told him that was all a joke, that was all Twitter stuff," Smith said Monday.
McCoy said Sunday that he hadn't met Smith yet and that he "didn't even know what he looks like."
"It's going to take a little time," Smith said when asked if McCoy accepted his apology. "He wasn't the happiest."
Smith has received angry messages on his Facebook page from Giants fans unhappy that he signed with an NFC East rival. Some of messages have been tinged with racism.
"They're just angry," Smith said. "It's like me going from UCLA from USC. But it's business, that's all it is for me."
McCoy suited up for practice today, but did not participate in any drills because the coaches were backing him off a little bit and resting his legs, according to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
The rest of the injury report remained the same: tackle Ryan Harris (back), defensive end Juqua Parker (calf), defensive tackle Antonio Dixon (back), defensive tackle Trevor Laws (hip), defensive tackle Mike Patterson (seizure), linebacker Greg Lloyd (ankle), tackle Fenuki Tupou (knee), tackle Winston Justice (knee) and defensive end Brandon Graham (knee) all did not practice on Monday.
The Eagles cancelled Tuesday's afternoon practice and Wednesday's mock game at Lehigh University. Players will break camp following a shortened Tuesday morning practice. Coach Andy Reid felt the players had earned some extra time off.
Ryan Harris' back problems have apparently extended into a third day.
The Eagles tackle, out the previous two days at Eagles training camp, was not on the field for Monday morning's practice. Harris has been dealing with back spasms.
Signed as a free agent two weeks ago, Harris needed only a few days to take over the starting right tackle spot. But he injured his back in the preseason opener on Thursday and that is a potential cause for concern considering that he had back surgeries in 2006 and 2007.
King Dunlap was again filling in for Harris at right tackle.
Defensive end Juqua Parker (calf) and defensive tackle Antonio Dixon (back spasms) were also not at practice.
Defensive tackle Trevor Laws, who has been out for nearly two weeks with a hip flexor injury, was running through conditioning drills with a number of Eagles injured players. They are: wide receiver Steve Smith (knee), defensive tackle Mike Patterson (seizure), linebacker Greg Lloyd (ankle), tackle Winston Justice (knee) and defensive end Brandon Graham (knee).
Running back LeSean McCoy was suited up and at practice, but wasn't participating in the early portion of team drills.