This is one of the few professions where that is a relevant line of questioning.
Wide receiver Ifeanyi Momah said technically the answer is last week, when he was home with his brothers (He is the youngest of four children.). But not since 2011 has he taken a hit with the pads on. September 3, 2011 to be exact — Boston College’s opener against Northwestern . The 6-7, 240-pound wideout went off for eight catches and 171 yards in that game, but the senior tore the ACL in his left knee along the way and was done for the year.
Still working back from the injury, he was not drafted or signed by an NFL team last season. But he drew interest this offseason after running a 4.40-40 (He reportedly ran a 4.39 privately for the Eagles) and was scooped up by Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly back in March. The Greenlawn, New York native did not stand out this spring during OTAs and minicamp, though the long layoff probably had something to do with it.
“Having that time off, it takes a little while to get things going. You gotta knock the rust off,” said Momah. “Especially being a receiver, the cuts and breaks, it takes a little while. So I made sure that was one of my main focuses throughout minicamps and OTAs and even during this off time I have been working on different routes and cutting and things like that.”
Momah spent the down time training in Miami with Kelley Washington, who he identified as his receivers coach. (Washington had a brief stint with the Eagles in 2010 but did not make the 53-man roster.) The focus seemed to be on tightening routes and sharpening angles. Fortunately for Momah, none of the focus was on his health.
“Right now I feel good,” he said. “I went home and made sure I was ready to go before I started training. I went out to Florida and didn’t feel anything weird on any part of my body, so I feel healthy and ready to go.”
It won’t be easy to make the roster. Assuming the Eagles keep five or six receivers, Momah will likely be battling for one of the final spots with players like Arrelious Benn, Riley Cooper and Russell Shepard.
When it was suggested to him that he is the rawest of receivers on the roster, Momah responded with an “Oh yeah,” but added, “I don’t want to say it’s a big challenge, it’s definitely something to focus on. It’s going to be something that is a challenge but I’ve played football my whole life, it’s kind of easy for to get back into it. I’m excited. I think I’m ready to go.”
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