Darby Expected to Begin Camp on PUP List
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — Ronald Darby is expected to be placed on the PUP list to start training camp, according to the NFL Network.
The move is no real surprise as Darby missed spring work while rehabbing the torn ACL he suffered in Week 10 of last season and had already earmarked Week 1 as his ultimate goal.
Darby was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 17 of last year so a full nine months after the surgery would be somewhere in mid-August, giving an opportunity to get a week or two of practice if everything goes according to plan.
Like he was in the spring Rasul Douglas is expected to be the right cornerback on the starting defense as Darby continues to work his way back.
"I’m right where I need to be," Darby said. "Everything is going good, no setbacks. [I'm] putting up good numbers each week in rehab."
Speed is the greatest trait in Darby's toolbox and the corner isn't worried about losing a step even after a serious leg injury. He had already been cleared to sprint straight ahead in the spring and has reached 22 MPH, one behind his pre-injury form, a blazing 23 MPH.
"You just gotta wake up the muscles," Darby assessed. "... I feel good. I feel real good."
Pegged for a big-money deal on the free-agent market, the knee injury limited interest and Darby decided the best option was the familiarity of Philadelphia and Jim Schwartz's defense, signing a one-year, prove-it deal for $4.5 million which can reach higher with incentives.
It wasn't the 10-figure deal a healthy Darby could have expected but it does give him an opportunity to test the market again next year where the pot at the end of the rainbow will appear if he can stay healthy.
"I’m comfortable here," Darby explained. "I know I’m coming off this injury, why not be somewhere where you’re comfortable, know the system? And the only thing I have to worry about is getting healthy to be able to play at my full potential. I don’t really have time to worry about trying to get healthy and trying to learn a new system, try to learn new coaches, players."
Other names on the PUP watch list as the Eagles start camp are right guard Brandon Brooks (Achilles), who is surely going to start on the list, as well as All-Pro Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (foot), safety Rodney McLeod (knee) and Darby's typical running mate at CB, Jalen Mills (foot).
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen