The Eagles activated defensive end Brandon Graham off the physically unable to perform list on Saturday and released guard Kyle DeVan to make room on their 53-man roster.
The team had until Monday 4:30 p.m. to make a decision on whether or not to active Graham before Monday night’s game against the Chicago Bears. It appeared as if they would use all of their allotted time because of defensive end Juqua Parker’s uncertain game-day status.
Parker missed his second straight practice Saturday because of a high ankle sprain and was listed as “doubtful” on the official injury report. The Eagles could have simply dressed Phillip Hunt as their fourth defensive end if Parker couldn’t go.
Or they could have finally added Graham – as they obviously chose to do -- to the roster. The Eagles’ 2010 first-round draft pick was first eligible to come off of PUP last week. The club had until next week to activate Graham or send him to Injured Reserve.
Graham tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last December and also needed microfracture surgery. Eagles coach Andy Reid was asked what kind of production he’s typically received from players coming off PUP mid-season.
“I could give you instances of people that they struggled … even with the rest of their career they had issues with it,” Reid said. “And other people have healed and come back fairly quick.”
After Saturday’s practice, Graham said that he knee felt good.
“It’s just more so my lungs,” he said. “Just getting my wind right and being able to go all four quarters.”
Graham has also had to adjust to a new system in which he lines up more outside the tackle – in the wide-nine -- and in a four-point stance. He said he thought he had the technique down pat, but that defensive line coach Jim Washburn still wanted him to “tweak little stuff here and there.”
Still, the Eagles must have thought Graham was ready enough to go. He’ll be a part of rotation at defensive end that includes starters Trent Cole and Jason Babin and reserve Darryl Tapp.
DeVan was picked up off waivers just before the season and was a stopgap at right guard until top pick Danny Watkins stepped back in as a the starter. Safety Jarrad Page has gone from starter to inactive over the last three games and appeared to be expendable, but he survived the latest cut.
LeSean McCoy said that he was “ready to roll” even though he still had symptoms from the stomach bug that kept him out of Thursday’s practice.
The running back practiced for the second straight day, as did tight end Brent Celek (hip) and linebacker Akeem Jordan (concussion). McCoy wasn’t on the injury report and Celek and Jordan were listed as “probable.”
Defensive end Juqua Parker missed practice for the second straight day and was listed as doubtful for Monday night's game against the Bears.
Parker has been battling a high ankle sprain, but coach Andy Reid didn't rule out the 33-year old for the game on Saturday.
The Eagles were granted an additional day by the NFL to make a decision on whether to activate Brandon Graham off the physically unable to perform list, according to Reid. They originally had until Sunday 4 p.m., but will be able to wait until just before kickoff.
If the Eagles do activate Graham they'll have to release a player. Parker is unlikely to go. Defensive end Phillip Hunt could be cut, although safety Jarrad Page also appears to be expendable. More than likely the Eagles will wait till next week to make a final decision on Graham.
Graham, who tore his ACL last December, said that his knee felt fine. The only concern, he said, were his "lungs" as he works himself back into shape.
LeSean McCoy practiced for the second straight day even though the running back said that he still has symptoms from a stomach flu that kept him out of Thursday's practice. McCoy said he'll play Monday. Tight end Brent Celek (hip) and linebacker Akeem Jordan (concussion) also practiced.