Barnett Sits with Lower Body Injury
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Doug Pederson went full hockey-mode Sunday explaining that rookie first-round pick Derek Barnett missed practice with a lower body injury.
It might have been the first "veteran day" in rookie history as Barnett was seen in the locker room after the session and looked no worse for wear although he did decline to speak with the media.
The 14th overall pick was described as day-to-day by Pederson with the Miami Dolphins scheduled to arrive for joint practices on Monday and Tuesday in advance of the all-important dress-rehearsal game with Adam Gase's team on Thursday night.
Barnett has been very impressive through the first two preseason game, amassing three sacks so far and Pederson indicated he's ready for more work with the first team.
“It's important," Pederson said. "Obviously, better tackles, better competition is a sign of where you are in your development process. But you could see how quick he is off the ball. You could see how well he bends. There's just a relentless finish. He plays to the whistle, and that's exciting. So hopefully these next couple weeks, you know, with Miami coming up, we'll give him a chance to roll in there with the first unit again and just continue to watch him grow.”
In other injury news Sunday, running back Wendell Smallwood (hamstring) was a full go and is on track to make his preseason debut against the Dolphins while swing tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) and slot corner Ron Brooks (hamstring) also returned from injuries.
"I feel great. I feel great to be back out there today." Smallwood said. "I had a lot of fun, a lot of energy. ...I've had some bad injuries. This is nothing. I can bounce back from this."
Vaitai resumed his training to take over the gameday swing tackle role and took some reps with the starters as Jason Peters rested, something offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland told 973espn.com is the plan moving forward.
As for Brooks, his absence hurt a bit as Patrick Robinson got the first-team looks at the nickel spot.
Remaining sidelined were receivers Bryce Treggs (leg soreness) and Paul Turner (shoulder).
Pederson indicated that the practices with the Dolphins will not include any live sessions. Monday's session will be in full pads while Tuesday with feature helmets and shorts.
Among the top storylines to watch are the returns of Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso to Philadelphia along with the reunion of Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery, who had much success together in Chicago.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen