Saturday, September 20, 2014
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DeSean "so-so", Samuel practices

DeSean Jackson said his sprained foot feels "so-so" but Asante Samuel was a full practice participant, a positive sign for his availability Sunday.

DeSean "so-so", Samuel practices

Asante Samuel has not played in a game since the Eagles´ win against the Giants on Nov. 28. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)
Asante Samuel has not played in a game since the Eagles' win against the Giants on Nov. 28. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)

DeSean Jackson said his sprained foot feels "so-so" today and was walking with a slight limp in the locker room, but Asante Samuel was a full practice participant, a positive sign for his availability Sunday.

Jackson, who sat out practice, said he has not heard from the NFL for his end zone celebration Sunday. Asked if he would play against the Giants he said "that's the plan" but didn't elaborate.

Samuel didn't share much with the media, saying he didn't want to give the Giants an edge, and also that he didn't want to do an interview until he played (he was willing, though, to talk to us about his statistics and Pro Bowl credentials).

"Expect 22 to do everything in his power to be out there to make my fans and our fans happy because I want to take it to the top," Samuel said.

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Thursday will be a key day as the team sees how his sprained knee responds to a full day of work.

Winston Justice was limited in practice.

FROM EARLIER:

DeSean Jackson will miss practice today with a foot sprain, but Asante Samuel and Winston Justice are expected to try again to go through the full session as the Eagles prepare for the Giants.

Jackson is "day-to-day" head coach Andy Reid said. "I think he's going to be OK, but we'll just see how it goes here."

Of course, Reid had also been optimistic about both Samuel and Justice in recent weeks. Samuel has now missed three consecutive games with a knee sprain and Justice also sat out Sunday's game against the Cowboys with a knee injury.

It has been a busy day. Reid confirmed that Jamar Chaney will start at middle linebacker, with Omar Gaither at back up; Derrick Burgess was back in the locker room; Chaney talked about getting ready for his first career start in a crucial game and Reid cleared up some of the mystery behind Jorrick Calvin's bizarre non-return.

Reid said Samuel went through the team's walk through this morning.

"I think he feels pretty good," Reid said. "We'll see."

Justice said he has to see how he feels today and as the week goes on. His standards for whether he can go Sunday?

"That I could still move effectively … not being in any pain, because as much as I want to be out there it's selfish to go out and play if I’m not 100 percent," he said. "In my mind, I’m 100%, but realistically I don’t really know until I really go out there and move around."

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Reid said Burgess provides depth, but that the team wants to see how he gets through full practices before deciding his role on Sunday. Burgess, brought in after Brandon Graham was injured, has been out of football since the end of the preseason.

"We’ll see how he does today. If he’s moving around OK, maybe he gets a few snaps on game day," Reid said.

Burgess said that even with a similar scheme to his first stint in Philadelphia, he still has new terminology to learn. "I feel good, I know it's going to be rusty, but I'm just trying to learn this defense."

Rookie third round pick Daniel Te'o-Nesheim may also get a chance to fill in.

"Anytime someone at your position goes down it's an opportunity," Te'o-Nesheim said.

*********

Chaney was eager to get his first start, and show something to all the teams that passed on him in the draft.

"I was disappointed to be a seventh round pick, but at the same time, I came in here with a chip on my shoulder, wanting to prove everybody wrong. This is a great opportunity to do that too," Chaney said. "A lot of GMs passed on me, so I want to make it known that they made a mistake when they passed on me."

The rookie will have to make plays calls at the middle of the defense.

"I've been calling plays ever since Mississippi State," said Chaney, who played middle linebacker in the 4-3 in college. He missed almost all of the 2008 season after breaking his leg and tearing ligaments in his ankle, likely part of the reason he slipped to the seventh round, despite rebounding in 2009 and running the fastest 40 of any linebacker in the draft.

He said he expected to go no later than the fourth round.

**************

Reid also cleared up the questions surrounding why Jorrick Calvin was running around the end zone against the Cowboys, even though the clock wasn't running. Reid said the Cowboys create so many touchbacks, that he wanted to force their coverage team to run downfield anyway and play through the entire play.

Calvin's ensuing penalty, though, for shoving a Cowboy, "that part wasn't planned," Reid said.

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

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