Cary Williams stood on the sideline during the Eagles' team drills Sunday instead of in his spot with the first-team defense. Williams had shown no sign of injury on Friday, when the team last practiced.
After that workout, Williams had called the Patriots "cheaters" and said he thought that the scheduled joint practices with New England were not beneficial.
He told reporters immediately after Sunday's workout that he was not injured. "They felt they needed me to play on other days," Williams said.
However, after he signed autographs for fans following the team's open practice at Lincoln Financial Field, Williams said that one of his legs was sore. A team official confirmed the cornerback's explanation, pointing out that he had participated in the first five periods of practice.
"I went out and did individual [drills] today," Williams said. "Some minor soreness. But other than that, I'll be out there as soon as I can. [Coach] Chip [Kelly] understands I work hard. I try to do everything within system. Today he just gave me the day off. It's not a big deal. It's just football."
Williams said the absence had nothing to do with his comments about the Patriots.
"I haven't even discussed anything with Chip," Williams said. "I don't think he's shown any type of agreement or disagreement with what I said. I'm sure maybe we'll have a conversation, but I don't know."
Kelly was aware of Williams' comments. Speaking before practice, the coach said he understood where Williams was coming from about the joint practices, admitting that the Eagles huddle more so they do not show signals. But he sees the value of the workouts with New England.
"I appreciate Cary's input," Kelly deadpanned. "But . . . to get a chance to go against another scheme and another team, I think it's really beneficial, as long as you and the other team are on the same page. And I thought it worked out really well for us last year."
Kelly also did not put much stock into avoiding the Patriots because of the "Spygate" scandal in 2007. The Eagles coach said that there is film on every team throughout the season. Plus, if the Eagles play the Patriots after the preseason, it would need to be in the Super Bowl.
"It would be a great situation that we get a chance to play them in the Super Bowl," Kelly said. "And [if] they're going through practice tape and get a chance to see one play that we ran once on a Tuesday in August that we bring out in the third quarter with a minute-32 on the clock and they are prepared for it, then God bless 'em."
The team's second open workout of camp drew about 25,000 fans to the Linc.
Wide receiver Riley Cooper (ankle), running back Chris Polk (hamstring), linebacker Jake Knott (hamstring), and wide receiver Jeff Maehl (foot) were sidelined. Kelly said Cooper should return this week.