Michael Vick, several other Eagles and a handful of locally-based NFL players gathered for informal workouts in South Jersey on Thursday.
The quarterback was joined by tight end Brent Celek and wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant for the first time since the start of the NFL lockout. The players did not alert the media as to their whereabouts, although 6ABC was on hand to capture some of the practice.
“The one thing that we do know is that we’re professional athletes and we can’t sit around and not do anything,” Vick said to 6ABC. “The speed of this game, the toughness that you have to have and bring in to each and every week has to start from somewhere.”
Vick said last week that he expected approximately 15 players to attend, although less than that number apparently showed.
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Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, who has spent most of the off-season training in Miami, said on Saturday that he would partake in the practices, but he did not attend. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who is currently based in Los Angeles, said last week that he would not be able to make the workouts.
Minnesota running back Albert Young, a product of Moorestown, N.J., was one of the non-Eagles to participate in the workout. Maclin and Avant have caught passes from Vick on occasion, but this was the first time the players ran pass patterns.
“We’re all a little bit rusty and that’s obvious today,” Celek said to 6ABC.
NFL players have been locked out, for the most part, since March 12. There was a brief reprieve in late April when a district judge lifted the lockout. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, granted NFL owners a stay and upheld the lockout until their appeal is heard on June 3.
The Eagles, who would normally be at the NovaCare Complex for minicamp, are expected to organize several other practices over the next few weeks.