DeSean improving; Morning Update

Coach Andy Reid said DeSean Jackson's back, which he injured Saturday, is improving. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson missed a third consecutive day of practice but coach Andy Reid said Jackson's back strain is improving.

Reid said Jackson should be able to return in a few days. Jackson was injured Saturday during the afternoon practice.

In other injury news:

* Stewart Bradley was back on the field this morning after his bout with hamstring spasms.

* Macho Harris is the most seriously injured of the hamstring quartet. Reid said Asante Samuel, Martin Rucker and Mike Bell should all be back within a few days.

* Antonio Dixon suffered a concussion yesterday in the afternoon practice. The Eagles are not sure when he will return.

* Stacy Andrews has a shoulder strain, but the the Eagles "don't think it is too serious," Reid said.

* A.Q. Shipley has a high ankle sprain, which is going to really complicate his bid to make the roster.

*Juqua Parker got the morning off as the only current member of Andy Reid's over-30 club, which excludes kickers and punters and also excluded QB Michael Vick.


The big NFL news of the day is the reported retirement of Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, with Favre telling the Vikings he won't return because of his ankle injury.

Asked if he had any thoughts, Reid said, "I've been asked that question once or twice."

He said he would defer comment until he was sure Favre was really retiring.


Commissioner Roger Goodell is visiting Eagles camp today and was to meet with Michael Vick, apparently to reinforce the guidelines under which Vick was reinstated to the NFL a year ago. Goodell is scheduled to talk to reporters after the afternoon practice.


Today was the day the Eagles honor active service members, so players and coaches stayed on the field talking and providing autographs to uniformed armed forces personnel for quite a while after the morning practice.

The Air Force personnel especially gathered around rookie wideout Chad Hall, who just finished two years of active duty after graduating from the Air Force Academy. They discovered common friends and acquaintances, Hall said.

"This is special," Hall said. "Some of these guys, just hearing their stories, them getting back from over there, from the desert, fighting the real fight, just really appreciating them. They're the reason we're out here today, you know?"

"A bunch of the guys (who had been) over in the desert worked with one of my good friends, Lt. Vic Thompson, so I heard a lot about that. It was good to hear their story -- they're asking us (questions), but really I was trying to ask them what they've been through. It's a lot more interesting than just the everyday grind out here."

"I pushed a little harder today, tried to hustle a little more; I had them behind me, yelling for me."


There was no tackling today, so there weren't a lot of crowd-pleasing plays. One exception came when Jeremy Maclin outfought Dimitri Patterson for a pass, but Patterson continued to fight for the ball as they went to the ground, sparking a scrum that eventually involved several players from both sides.

"I made a pretty good play on the ball, and he tried to fight it away from me," Maclin said. "Tempers kind of flared a little bit, but that was pretty much it ... it's hot, everybody's running around, it's the last play (of that part of practice), I was trying to get up and he wouldn't get off me. I kind of got upset a little bit."

*Brandon Graham swooped untouched past center-guard Mike McGlynn in a blocking drill.

*J.J. Arrington suffered a bad pass drop, picking the ball up late. Might not be a good sign that Arrington has been here several days now, still doesn't have a name on the back of his No. 33 jersey. "They made me earn my stripes, man -- that's all it is," he said.

*The first-team defense blanketed Kevin Kolb's receivers in the end zone during a read zone drill, forcing a too-high pass to Hank Baskett.