We finally got some sort of explanation for why DeSean Jackson missed practice this week.
According to Eagles coach Andy Reid, his star wide receiver skipped out on the final four days of voluntary workouts for "personal reasons." Cornerback Asante Samuel also did not attend OTAs this week so that he could attend to a personal issue, the team said earlier this week.
"I did talk to him -- both he and Asante," Reid said.
No other information was provided on Jackson's absence. Messages left with his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, have not been returned.
Reid was asked what he tells the 97 percent of his players that do show up for OTAs when a few choose not to do so.
"If you have personal reasons, it is a voluntary minicamp on top of that," Reid said. "You have to do what you have to do. I think more about the guys that are here, making sure that we concentrate our efforts on them, and make sure that the people that aren't here get whatever settled that they need to get settled and then move on. I don't spend a lot of time on that part. I try to focus in on the guys that are here and in getting better."
Reid said that Jackson would be at training camp next month.
Speaking of training camp, Reid said that rookie Nate Allen would enter the late July practices as the starter at free safety. Allen moved up to the first team when Marlin Jackson ruptured his Achilles tendon last week.
"He's a smart kid," Reid said. "He's got a nice football mind. He's a fast learner."
In injury-related news, he said that center Jamaal Jackson (knee) and defensive end Victor Abiamiri (knee) would miss the start of training camp.
Reid said the following players that injured themselves during the last two weeks of OTAs would be ready to go by training camp: guard Todd Herremans (foot), linebacker Stewart Bradley (calf), safety Quintin Mikell (MCL knee sprain), guard Fenuki Tupou (chest) and wide receiver Riley Cooper (hamstring). Herremans and Cooper did some outside work with the team's strength and conditioning staff today.
Running back LeSean McCoy returned to practice today after sitting out the previous week with a slight ankle sprain. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was back for the second straight day. He missed Tuesday's practice with a "tight" hamstring.
Guard/center Mike McGlynn was excused from practice today for personal reasons, as was defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
Training camp begins on July 26 -- "46 days and 12 hours" from now, as Reid put it -- when rookie and selected veterans report to Lehigh. The rest of the team will arrive on July 29.
Andy Reid confirmed that he will join three other coaches on a USO tour to the Middle East at the end of this month. Reid will be accompanied by Vikings coach Brad Childress, a former assistant and friend of Reid's, Panthers coach John Fox and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.
Reid said that he really had no idea where in the Middle East he would bring his goodwill. Asked if he would be required to wear combat gear, Reid said: "The vests only go up to two XLs so they're going to put one on the front and one on the back. And they'll bring some tape and tape them."