Reggie Brown was on the Internet the other night searching for information on hamstring injuries. The Eagles wide receiver has one and wanted to see if they are preventable.
Brown, who injured his left hamstring on the first play of Friday's exhibition game at New England, said he stretched as usual before the game, but came up lame anyway. He will not play in tomorrow's preseason finale and said he would not have been available if the Eagles had a regular-season game this weekend.
"This is just one of those injuries that you have to take your time with," Brown said. "If you don't take your time with it, you'll have it the whole year."
Brown intends to be back at practice next week as the Eagles prepare for the Sept. 7 season opener against the Rams. He's targeting Monday, but said next Wednesday probably is more realistic.
Brown's uncertainty leaves the Eagles short in experience at wide receiver. With Kevin Curtis already out indefinitely after sports-hernia surgery, the Birds are down their top two from last season. Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett are decent complimentary options, but neither has ever been a No. 1. Head coach Andy Reid said he has some maneuverability.
"You've got Greg, you've got Hank and we even worked Jason [Avant] in there a little bit this past game," Reid said. "They can all play there."
Brown hasn't missed a game in his first three seasons and said the plan is to err on the side of caution.
"I don't want to go out there and not be full speed," he said. "If I'm not full speed, I'll do what I have to do. It's strong and feeling good, but it's got a little ways to go."
In the long, storied history of Penn State football, nobody carried the ball more than Tony Hunt.
Not John Cappelletti. Not Curt Warner. Not even Franco Harris.
There have been Hall of Famers and 1,000-yard rushers; legends and Heisman winners, but nobody ran the ball as much as Hunt.
So it is easy to see why the second-year running back is beginning to get a little irked that he has been asked to abandon his lifelong position of tailback and move to fullback.
"It's kind of frustrating trying to pick up a position this late in the preseason," said Hunt. "It's like 'All right. You've been doing this for a year and a half, but now we're going to try something different.' You have to start all over and get on the same page as guys who have been in there doing it. So, you know, it is a little frustrating."
Hunt is in a roster battle with fullback veterans Jed Collins and Jason Davis. Hunt's explosiveness and experience as a rusher would give him an advantage over Collins and Davis, but only if he can master the nuances of blocking. A fullback that can't blok is like a sprtswritter that cant spel. The impending confusion is obvious.
Hunt will get his second crack at his new position tomorrow night when the Jets visit for the final preseason tuneup. He proved with a 51-yard touchdown run against Carolina in the second preseason game that he still has the burst of a tailback, but his wiffing on a few blocking assignments also caught attention.
"He has to continue to take a step forward. I need to see him be better than he was last week," coach Andy Reid said. "I'm not going to say he was poor last week, but I want to see improvement. He is on his second week here, so there should be marked improvement there."
After this week, the games start counting. It's unfair to expect Hunt to become Rocky Bleier in 3 weeks, but it's also unclear how long it will take him to at least become adequate.
"I've never done this, so I have no clue" how long it will take, Hunt said. "I've only been doing this for a week and a half . . . It would be like me asking you how long it would take you to go be an astronaut."