Now that he has survived the harsh elements of Alaska and the even harsher sting of missing an Andy Reid-run minicamp, Jason Babin is setting his sights on his next expedition.
The Eagles' Pro Bowl defensive end said he planned to run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, this July.
"It's kind of a rite of passage," Babin said Wednesday after his first spring practice. "It's a stamp. I guess in my brain I have a figurative 'man card' that's got certain punches that need to be punched out."
Babin punched out a climb-a-glacier-in-Alaska hole earlier this month during a 12-day bear-hunting trip. He said he would have been at practices last week, but blizzard-like conditions delayed his flight home.
"I'm upset I missed [practice] because . . . I don't miss stuff," Babin said. "I think [the Eagles] were really concerned like, 'Where is he?' because my phone didn't work."
Babin wasn't the only healthy Eagle to miss the first week of full-squad optional workouts. Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins skipped the week after his wife underwent minor surgery. He also returned to practice Wednesday.
Babin, an avid outdoorsman, went to Cold Bay, Alaska, to hunt bear and, he said, to just survive. He did more surviving than shooting.
"I didn't see the one [bear] I wanted," Babin said. "It's proper stewardship of the outdoors to not shoot a little one."
One may question whether running with the bulls in Pamplona, where many have suffered injury and sometimes death, is proper behavior for a professional football player.
"Everyone thinks it's dangerous and hazardous," Babin said. But it's not, if "done correctly and soberly," he added.
"Bulls can't turn the corner on cobblestone, so as long as you're on the inside you're going to be all right," Babin said. "I broke the tape down like game film."
The Eagles had no immediate comment on how they feel about Babin's summer vacation plans.
Mike Patterson, who will miss all of spring practices, said that he thought he would be ready for training camp.
The defensive tackle had brain surgery in January to correct an anteriovenous malformation.
The Eagles released running back Graig Cooper and wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad. The roster is at 87, three short of the maximum.
Contact Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745, email@example.com or on Twitter @Jeff_McLane.