Another day, another practice without Cary Williams.
The veteran corner took the field with his teammates at the start of the session, and even provided a mini-highlight early on when he broke up a Tom Brady pass in the corner of the end zone during one-on-one drills. But moments later his pads were off and he was working off to the side once again, as the hamstring that he tweaked on the first day of camp flared up on him.
On Tuesday, it was not the injury but rather his behavior that forced him to the sidelines. Chip Kelly and Bill Belichick agreed that any extra-curriculars during these joint practices would result in ejection. Williams promptly got into it with rookie receiver Aaron Dobson and was tossed.
Between that, the injury, and his decision to skip a good chunk of the OTAs, you’re talking about a lot of missed time.
Is he doing everything in his power to get onto the field?
“He is,” Kelly replied. “Since camp started he’s had a nagging hamstring, and the toughest part with that if you have ever had one is you come back and feel good and all of a sudden it goes again. I think it’s frustrating for him and I think it’s frustrating for everybody because he’s got to get his reps. He’s been great in the meeting rooms. There’s nothing you can do. I think that’s the hardest thing in this game is when someone is injured, heck we need him on the field, we’ve got to practice, but there’s not a miracle cure. But he’s been great from a treatment standpoint.”
Minus Williams, the Eagles went with a first-team secondary of Brandon Boykin, Curtis Marsh, Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman (with Patrick Chung working in as the nickel). For the second straight day, Brady had his way.
“The learning experience is pretty good,” said Kelly with a smile. “He’s obviously one of the great quarterbacks to ever play this game, not just in the league right now. You better be where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there or he’s going to get you. And that was a great challenge for us. One of the things we were excited about was to come down here and kind of gauge where our guys are.”
Safe to say they need some work, and could use one of their projected starters on the field with them.
Wide Receiver Update
The Eagles are running short on receivers and are seeking some short-term help. They lost Jeremy Maclin and Arrelious Benn to ACL injuries and released Dave Ball, leaving them with nine receivers. On Wednesday, Damaris Johnson and Russell Shepard exited practice early with hamstring injuries.
There were no scheduled workouts as of early afternoon, per a source, but the team is on the lookout for receivers. They will be targeting younger players/camp bodies for the time being.
“We’re looking to see if there are one or two [receivers] out there because we need some legs,” said Kelly, “but on game day we’re only going to have five [active] probably, so we have a luxury of two more that we will have on Sunday.”
No Word On Starting QB Yet
Two days away from the preseason opener, and Kelly has yet to announce who which quarterback will start.
“We’ll have a meeting today and tonight and talk it through and see where we’re going,” he said.
“Whoever takes the first rep let’s not anoint them as anything. Someone’s got to be the first guy. So we’ll have a plan as a staff how many reps those guys will get, and we’ll go from there. We have to have someone start the game. But I wouldn’t say the guy that starts the game is going to be the starter overall in general as we get going on September 9. But how do we divvy up Mike [Vick] and Nick’s [Foles] snaps and we’ll try to make that as even as possible. That’s kind of our thought process.”
Sal Paolantonio is reporting that Vick is expected to start.
LeSean McCoy (knee) spent most of the day working off to the side. Williams (hammy), Shepard (hammy), Johnson (hammy) and Felix Jones (hammy) all left practice early. Connor Barwin returned from an illness. Jason Peters (hamstring) and Dennis Kelly (back) remain sidelined. Nate Menkin (illness) did not practice.