Sidney Jones, who missed the last three weeks of spring workouts with "lower-body soreness," is scheduled to return to practice when the Eagles open training camp Thursday, NFL sources said.
Jones will have to complete a conditioning test and pass a physical before he's cleared — players reported to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday — but the second-year cornerback is expected to be ready when the team hits the field a day later.
The 22-year-old Jones, a second-round draft pick last year, was sidelined for most of last season as he recovered from an Achilles tendon rupture he suffered in March 2017. He played in the season finale but left early and was inactive throughout the playoffs. When organized team activities began in late May, Jones was a full participant. But he was held out of workouts the following two weeks, and when coach Doug Pederson was asked about the reason during minicamp a week later, he said Jones' soreness wasn't related to his left Achilles.
"We're just resting him [and] making sure he's 100 percent," Pederson said on June 13.
Jones declined to specify where he was feeling sore, saying only that the Eagles were backing him off.
Ideally, the Eagles would have preferred that Jones practiced throughout the spring. He has missed the large majority of workouts the last two offseasons. But camp will afford Jones the opportunity to catch up and push for one of the top three cornerback spots.
Returning starters Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby spent most of the spring as the first-team outside cornerbacks. Jones got the first look inside at the slot — essentially a starting spot — although the competition to replace Patrick Robinson is up for grabs with several candidates and the possibility that several players will fill the job.
But the Eagles would love to see a return this season on Jones, whom team executive Howie Roseman has called essentially a 2018 first-round draft pick. The former University of Washington star appeared to be running well during the lone open practice in which he participated. Jones once intercepted quarterback Nick Foles. But he was back on the shelf by the time the Eagles opened their next session to reporters a week later.