Tim Jernigan Returns to Practice
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - It's always sunny in Philadelphia, at least since the bye week started.
Outwardly it was a dark and rainy day at the NovaCare Complex Monday but things continued to trend in a positive direction for the Eagles when veteran defensive tackle Tim Jernigan took part in his first practice of the 2018 season.
Jernigan participated in a walkthrough Monday and remains on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list but can now participate in practice for the next 21 days, in which the Eagles can activate him at any time or wait the full three weeks before making the decision of putting Jernigan on the 53-man roster or shutting him down his season.
"I don't have any," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said when asked about the expectations surrounding Jernigan now that he's been cleared to practice. "It’s going to be totally based on where he is. First day of training camp, first day of OTAs, all that is where he is. But you're also talking about a guy that's a veteran player, that has played a lot of football, that has been working extremely hard. Coming back from a major injury, but [we have to] get him up to speed, and his body will tell him, and that will guide us."
The team's starter on the interior of the defensive line next to Fletcher Cox during Philadelphia's run to a Super Bowl LII championship, Jernigan injured his back while lifting weights in the offseason and needed to undergo surgery.
Philadelphia has struggled to replace Jernigan and has already moved on from Destiny Vaeao. Veteran Haloti Ngata, Treyvon Hester, and Bruck Hector have all gotten snaps inside during the first half of the season but none have been anywhere near as effective as Jernigan was last season.
"It was good seeing him in uniform and good getting him out there," Schwartz said. "You know Timmy. He's got n infectious smile, just a good demeanor around the game and stuff like that so get his clock going a little bit. Get him in some individual drills and things like that and just take it one day at a time."
The Eagles also made some moves to bolster the cornerback position on Monday, first bringing back De'Vante Bausby to the practice squad.
Later they made a move on the 53-man roster after being awarded Cre'Von LeBlanc off waivers from the Detriot Lions. To make room, CB Dexter McDougle was waived.
A 5-foot-11, 190-pound third-year player out of Florida Atlantic, LeBlanc joined the Lions this season and played in two games before being waived on Saturday. Prior to signing with Detroit in the offseason, LeBlanc played in 28 games and made 10 starts with the Chicago Bears, where Philadelphia personnel chief Joe Douglas became familair with him.
Philadelphia could be down two of its three starting corners -- Jalen Mills (foot) and Sidney Jones (hamstring) -- against Dallas in Week 10.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen