Within a couple of days of each other, the right ankles of possibly the most important linemen on either side of the ball collapsed under their considerable loads.

Pro Bowl defensive end Trent Cole was carted from the field during Friday's preseason game at Kansas City. Standout guard/tackle Todd Herremans left Sunday's workout.

Yesterday, neither lineman so much as limped. Neither was slated to play Thursday in the preseason finale at home against the Jets, since starters won't play. Both expect to be ready for the season's start Sept. 12, when the Packers visit.

Cole's injury, suffered while trying to shed a block and make a tackle, was the scarier - both to onlookers and to him.

"When I went to go make the tackle, if you were watching real closely, my ankle folded in," Cole said. "It hurt so bad, my whole body kind of went limp. You could see the [ball carrier] just went right by me. I was kind of out of it for a little bit. Going into the next play, I didn't even get into a stance."

He exited after that play, fearful that his season might be over.

"Any player would be scared, when you're in that kind of pain," Cole said. "You don't want it to be anything that would have your season messed up. That's one thing you dread. You don't want that."

This time last year, Herremans had his season messed up with surgery on his left foot, which cost him the first five games. Lingering issues with the foot cost him most of this year's training camp and allowed him only one preseason game - Friday's. So, when he slightly sprained his right ankle Sunday after stepping in a hole, he got that old feeling.

"It was frustrating," Herremans said, "but I could tell right away it wasn't anything serious. Just come in right away, get the swelling out of it."

Cole and Herremans were healthy enough for light conditioning work yesterday. Both seem confident they can return to practice after Thursday.

For Cole, who went to the Pro Bowl after the 2007 and 2009 seasons, it has been a summer of remarkable . . . progress?

"Phenomenal," said defensive coordinator Sean McDermott when asked about Cole's preseason. "I don't know that Trent's had a better preseason than he's had this year."

Perhaps that's because this season, Cole, in his sixth year, has better recognized his stature on the team.

"Being a role model is more important," Cole said. "You've got [teammates] watching you. They want to be where you're at. They can be where I'm at. If they work hard at what they do."

Trading down

The Eagles yesterday traded sixth-round rookie fullback Charles Scott to the Cardinals for sixth-round cornerback Jorrick Calvin, who also is a kick returner. Calvin was selected one pick after Scott, and the Eagles liked him.

They especially like his ability to field kicks. As a junior at Troy, Calvin, at 5-11 and 184 pounds, led the Sun Belt Conference with 25.7 yards per kickoff return, with a 95-yard TD return. He averaged 9.9 yards per punt return.

"We'll give him an opportunity to do that here," said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. "It was an opportunity, for someone we had a high grade on at an important position, to give him a look."

Calvin missed his senior season for academic reasons.

Scott seemed destined to be cut as an Eagle, but with Cardinals fullback Nehemiah Broughton sidelined with a knee injury, he has a shot at latching on with the Cards.


Special-teams coach Bobby April, on his unit's capacities:

"If we've got a quart's worth of talent, then we need to fill up the whole quart. If we've got a gallon's worth of talent, we've got to fill the whole gallon. If we've got a 55-gallon drum [worth] of talent, we need to fill that, too."

April did not specify the vessel that best describes the Eagles' capacity. *