Hicks and Matthews to be Limited
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles kicked off their 2017 training camp on Monday by welcoming their rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans returning from injury to the NovaCare Complex.
The biggest news surrounded a pair of veteran starters not scheduled to report until later in the week, however, linebacker Jordan Hicks and receiver Jordan Matthews.
Coach Doug Pederson confirmed that both would be limited participants when they do arrive.
Hicks broke a bone in his hand while on his honeymoon in Greece last month after slipping while getting out of a pool while Matthews has been dealing with knee tendinitis throughout the offseason.
Pederson wasn't too worried about Hicks pointing to the fact that he is a veteran player who understands his role now and mentioned the Texas product will likely start out doing individual work and maybe some 7-on-7 stuff before ramping up.
Pederson also seemed non-plusedon Matthews' status:
“We’ve just got to stay on top of it, obviously,” the coach said. “We’ve been rehabbing all spring and summer. He was in North Dakota with the guys [working with Carson Wentz]. ...We don’t play a game for a long time, so I’m not concerned.”
The big news on the field was that cornerback Ron Brooks and linebacker Joe Walker were both back practicing after missing most of the offseason work rehabbing injuries.
Brooks, who is returning from a ruptured quad muscle suffered against Minnesota last season, was in his familiar nickel back spot while Rasul Douglas and Mitchell White handled the first-team duties on the outside at cornerback.
Walker, a second-year player projected to be Hicks' backup, lined up at middle linebacker and seemed healthy after his ACL tear during preseason a year ago.
Rookie center Tyler Orlosky, who missed most of the offseason with a knee injury, was also back handling the center position in absence of the veterans.
Second-round cornerback Sidney Jones and defensive tackle Beau Allen, who were both placed on the NFI list to start camp, both watched practice, Jones in a bucket hat from the sidelines while Allen did some conditioning work in the humid temperatures.
As for the one-field work, the play of the day may have come from undrafted rookie receiver Greg Ward, who made a one-handed diving catch in the end zone during red-zone work.
The drops plagued the WR unit on Day 1, however, as Shelton Gibson continued his tough transition by dropping two balls while, Ward and Mack Hollins each dropped one apiece.
-The offensive line from left to right was Dillon Gordon, Aaron Neary, Orlosky, Darrell Greene and Victor Salako.
-Hollins and Marcus Johnson, ahead of Gibson, got most of the first-team work outside while Ward handled the slot duties.
-Brooks wore a sleeve on his right leg and the training staff kept a sharp eye in the veteran.
-Rookie first-round pick Derek Barnett confirmed to 973espn.com that he spent some of his downtime working with pass-rushing guru Chuck Smith in Atlanta.
-Donnel Pumphrey is working hard to gain weight and claimed he was up to 185 pounds until a recent illness took its toll and he reported at 178.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen