Jeremy Maclin was limited in practice Wednesday as he fights lingering pain in his shoulder -- which he said has a grade two separation -- and concern about his injured hamstring.
Maclin said the shoulder has not fully healed, but that dealing with that largely depends on pain tolerance.
"There's ways around the shoulder. The hamstring is the thing you really have to focus on," Maclin said. "The hamstring felt fine for awhile there, but it’s kind of, we’ll see."
The "for awhile there" part is worrisome, because it clearly implies that it got worse as practice went on.
"I just know with these things you’ve got ot be very careful," Maclin said. "I've still got a few more days, so we’ll see."
"I'm a competitive guy. I want to be out there, but I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize the team, either, so if I'm not 100 percent and feel like I can't go out there and contribute, I wouldn't do anything to damage the team," Maclin said. "At the same tim I’m a competitor, I’ve battled through injuries before so if I can go out here and still play ball I’ll go out there and play ball."
The Eagles' need for Maclin will be more sharply felt if DeSean Jackson can't recover in time to play. He sat out practice with a foot bruise and was out of his walking boot Wednesday, but still had a noticeable limp. Asked about playing Sunday he said "we'll see."
Mike Vick and DeSean Jackson will be out of practice Wednesday, coach Andy Reid said this afternoon. Jeremy Maclin, though, is expected to be back after missing the last game with shoulder and hamstring injuries.
Vick (ribs) tried to throw on Tuesday but wasn't able to do very much, Reid said, creating more doubt about whether he will be able to play Sunday.
Vick "threw a little bit yesterday but not much, just enough to test it," Reid said. "He can still feel it."
Reid was non-committal about whether Vick has any chance of playing Sunday.
Jackson has a bruised foot that is still swollen, Reid said. There is no break, he said, but the Eagles need to get the swelling out.
Jackson is coming off of one of his best games in weeks. Reid sounded hopeful that he might be ready, but emphasized that Jackson's availability will depend on how his injury progresses. Jackson was in a walking boot when he left MetLife Stadium Sunday night.
Steve Smith will take Jackson's place in practice. The Eagles use the bigger Riley Cooper to back up Maclin, and Smith to step in for Jackson.
King Dunlap (concussion) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle) are also both out of practice. Rodgers-Cromartie is not expected to play this week. Joselio Hanson filled in well for him as the nickel back against the Giants.
The Eagles don't play the Patriots very often, but their offensive line coach is quite familiar with Bill Belichick's defensive machinations. Howard Mudd faced New England many times when he was offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts. He has told his Eagles group to expect new wrinkles that they might not have seen on tape, said center Jason Kelce.
So how do you prepare for the unknown?
"Just know who your assignment is and where he is at all times," Kelce said.
Andy Reid and Bill Belichick are either two of the least quotable coaches in the NFL, or two of the most amusing in the way they parry questions (sometimes both). Each was on his non-answer game Wednesday, but using different tactics.
Reid went with brevity. Asked how to contain a player such as Tom Brady, he said, "play good defense."
Belichick went the opposite way, saying so much as to say nothing at all. Asked about what the Eagles do well, here was his list:
"They're good across the board. It starts at the top, they're well coached. I think Andy does a good job of acquiring talent and coaching. They have a lot of good schemes, they're a hard team to get ready for," Belichick said. "There's a number of good things they do and do at a high level. They can run the ball, they can throw it, they've got a good offensive line, they can rush the passer, stop the run, they can cover, return kicks, cover kicks, block kicks, they’re good in all phases of the game. Lot of outstanding players and a lot of production."
I think he missed long snapping. That's some bulletin board material for Jon Dorenbos.