Eagles TC Day 3: Concern over Cre’Von and Sidney Jones’ Shows Off Catch-up Speed
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) — In many ways, an NFL season can be defined by attrition and the Eagles may have suffered their first somewhat serious injury.
Reserve slot cornerback Cre'Von LeBlanc was spotted by 973espn.com wearing a walking boot and getting around the NovaCare Complex in a roll-about, an indication that a Friday absence which Jim Schwartz described as injury-related could be at least somewhat significant.
Later an NFL Network report described LeBlanc's injury as a sprained foot, certainly not ideal but far from the worst-case scenario. An NFL source outside the organization said it's nothing that would threaten the season like an Achilles' so that lines up with the Ian Rapoport information.
A second tea leaf pointing to the fact this is a multi-week injury is that Orlando Scandrick, a veteran CB with significant experience playing the slot, visited the NovaCare Complex on Saturday.
The Eagles are down three corners with LeBlanc joining Jalen Mills, who remains on the PUP list stemming from his own foot injury, as well as Ronald Darby, who is limited to individual work right now as he continues to rehab from his torn ACL.
On the field, the first practice of the summer in full pads was on the docket on a day temperatures reached into the high 80s.
The defense had most of the highlights, starting with a Kamu Grugier-Hill interception of Carson Wentz during 7-on-7 drills. KGH, still running with the first-team nickel alongside Nate Gerry at LB, came from the backside in zone coverage to snare a pass over the middle.
Also igniting the fans on hand was Sidney Jones, who was back playing exclusively at left cornerback after handling slot duties on Friday. Jones was caught looking inside by a run fake and Mack Hollins was able to get behind him but Nate Sudfeld underthrew the football and Jones was able to show off impressive catch-up speed to get back to the football and make an interception.
“It was a run fake and the receiver down-blocked,” Jones explained. “I thought he was going to block Malcolm (Jenkins). So that’s my key to shoot for the run. But it was a fake so I noticed it like a second late. (Hollins) got down field and I’m chasing him, and I didn’t panic, I stayed calm, turned my head, saw the ball and used my ball skills from there. Find the ball, that’s one of the main concerns in our DB room. Find the ball, keep that ingrained in your head when it comes practice time, and game time you just do it.”
On the whole, Wentz wasn't as nearly sharp as usual and failed to take advantage of a rare Alshon Jeffery go route during the final team-drill period. The route surprised Jones, who was beaten badly on the play, something that was erased by an overthrow.
That period also saw a Wentz pass tipped at the line of scrimmage, a misconnection on a back-shoulder fade to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, a deep dig route over the middle that was too high for Shelton Gibson, and a false start from Jason Peters. The only positive play was a simple swing route to Darren Sproles.
Maybe the biggest Wentz play of the afternoon was a deep crossing shot to the emerging Dallas Goedert which would have gone for a very long gain.
The pads did provide some physicality from two players known for it. First safety Andrew Sendejo leveled Josh Adams with a forearm and linebacker Alex Singleton, who position coach Ken Flajole told 973espn.com would show up when the pads came on back in the spring, drew a flag when blasting Boston Scott on a swing route.
The biggest buzz, though, came from Vinny Curry, who burst through the line to bury Miles Sanders for a TFL. Curry jumped up and did the Fortnite Dance as a celebration while the rookie RB was taken aback at least a bit by the physical nature in what wasn't supposed to be a live environment.
PRACTICE NEWS AND NOTES:
-Jim Schwartz continued to rotate the responsibilities of Jones and Avonte Maddox for the third straight day.
-The third-team offensive line excelled on a counter play wiping out the entire edge of the defense resulting in a big run by Wendell Smallwood.
-Down bodies, in the secondary, the defense offered up a lot of big-nickel looks with Malcolm Jenkins, Sendejo and Tre Sullivan as the three safeties on the field. CB Alex Brown, who was picked up off waivers from San Francisco Friday made his practice debut, getting most of his work in at RC.
-Some special teams notes: Sendejo is the first-team personal protector for punter Cam Johnston. As if he doesn't do enough, Jenkins was the second-team PP. The top gunners in punt coverage were Gibson and Jones. Also getting looks as gunners were Hollins, Deiondre' Hall, Josh Hawkins, Jerimiah McKinnon, DeAndre Thompkins and even Maddox and Rasul Douglas. The punt returners were Sproles, Pumphrey and Scott while Jackson also raced over to take a rep.
-The Eagles spent one period working on combo routes with the backs and tight ends.
-The offense again started team work in 12 personnel with both Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert on the field. The receivers starting were Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson.
-Wentz and Jackson were spotted after practice working on their chemistry with the deep-ball. it was great in the spring but hasn't reached that level yet in the summer.
"We're just trying to get our timing down," Jackson said.
-There was some 35 on 35 crime during the practice. With the bloated offseason roster some numbers have to be doubled up and on one occasion 35 on offense, Donnel Pumphrey, lowered his shoulder and ran over 35 on defense, safety Trae Elston.
-Toronto Raptors star and NBA champ Kyle Lowry, a Philly native and Villanova product, took in practice as a guest of the Eagles. At one point he was watching with former Eagles receiver Jason Avant.
- The Eagles have off Sunday and return for the first of four consecutive practice days on Monday.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen