Camp nutshell: Williams (again) limps off field

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Camp nutshell: Williams (again) limps off field

August 7, 2013, 4:00 pm
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Cornerback Cary Williams has participated in just two full practices since July 26. (AP)

Arrelious Benn made it through only two practices before blowing out his knee and going down for the season.

Right now, Cary Williams has yet to surpass Benn’s practice total.

Williams, a cornerback and one of the team’s most significant free-agent acquisitions, exited early Wednesday after he aggravated a hamstring injury that he sustained last month in the team’s first full practice.

Williams’ most recent departure came just one day after coach Chip Kelly threw him out of practice after the cornerback tussled with a Patriots wide receiver (see story). Williams has completed just two full practices since the first full-team practice July 26, an ominous sign after he skipped much of the spring camps for a variety of reasons.

Kelly insisted that the newcomer isn’t ducking responsibilities or trying to miss more camp.

“It’s a case where he’s just had a nagging injury ... you come back and you feel good and all of a sudden it goes again,” Kelly said. “It’s frustrating for him. I think it’s frustrating for everybody, because he’s got to get his reps in.

“He’s been great in the meeting rooms. There’s nothing you can do. That’s the hardest thing, I think, in the game, when someone is injured. You have to get on the field to practice, but there’s not a miracle cure. But he’s been great [from] a treatment standpoint.”

More walking wounded
Two more wideouts left practice early, as Damaris Johnson and Russell Shepard each exited with hamstring injuries. Felix Jones also left with a tight hammy. LeSean McCoy continues to be in and out of practice with an unspecified knee injury.

The Eagles have moved Benn, who tore his ACL on Tuesday, to the IR list. No corresponding roster move has been announced yet.

Kelly said the team is looking into adding some receiver depth with the Eagles down to seven healthy bodies after Johnson and Shepard left, but only to bolster depth for camp.

“We're looking now to see if there are more than two out there because we need some legs,” he said. “But on game day, we're only going to have five, probably. So we've got the luxury of two more than we would have if we played on Sunday.”

Didn't practice
Still sidelined are offensive tackles Jason Peters (hamstring), Ed Wang (knee) and Dennis Kelly (back), along with defensive tackle Antonio Dixon (hamstring). Nate Menkin, a reserve guard, was out with an illness.

Tom Terrific
Another joint practice, another day of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady performing surgery on the Eagles’ defense. Brady seemed to enjoy picking on third-year cornerback Curtis Marsh, who drew a rare flag from the refs for defensive holding against Aaron Dobson.

Marsh was on the wrong side of several Brady connections, although he did break up a pass from Brady to Dobson -- when the underthrown pass hit his helmet.

Rising star
Second-year linebacker Mychal Kendricks keeps showcasing his improvement -- and athleticism -- in practice each day. He leaped high to bat down a Brady pass during 11-on-11 drills.

Kendricks is frequently seeing action against tight ends in coverage, a role he inherited last year as a rookie strong-side linebacker but surrendered later in the season when he moved to the weak side. He looks more prepared this year to handle that duty.

Dropsies, again
At this rate, it’s safe to say Bryce Brown will never be another Brian Westbrook. Brown dropped another easy pass in the flat, adding to his increasing total of drops throughout camp.

Kelly has talked about the importance of versatility among his running backs and using them to create mismatches in the passing game. Chris Polk has shown more reliable hands, although the second-year pro fumbled Wednesday for the first time.

On the same subject, Damaris Johnson had a couple of bobbled punts before he left with a hamstring injury. Ball security was an issue at times last year for Johnson.

Catch of the day
Greg Salas is actually one of the team’s most experienced wideouts, with 27 career receptions. Only DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper and Jason Avant have more.

Salas put some of that polish on display, turning in the Eagles’ best catch -- an acrobatic, one-handed grab from Matt Barkley deep down the right sideline while matched up against Patriots corner Logan Ryan in 11-on-11s.

The ball had traveled about 40 yards when Salas broke the route, jumped, twisted and hauled in the ball with his right hand. Even though he tumbled after the catch, Salas avoided going out of bounds, drawing an ovation from the crowd.

This 'n that
• Ifeanyi Momah and Riley Cooper, two of the team’s taller wideouts, starred in red-zone drills. The 6-foot-8 Momah made a leaping grab over Pats corner Logan Ryan on the back line of the end zone on a pass from Vick. Cooper toasted a New England defensive back on a corner route to catch a touchdown from Nick Foles.

• The Eagles showed a variety of hybrid looks on defense, including several formations that featured Trent Cole with his hand in the dirt instead of standing up.

• Mike Vick, as only Vick can do, channeled his inner Dan Quisenberry and submarined a pass to Jackson across the middle as the defense closed in during 11-on-11s. The ball actually caught Jackson, instead of vice-versa.

• Third-round pick Bennie Logan sees most of his action on the second and third teams, at nose guard and defensive end, but Kelly said the former LSU standout is “definitely in the mix” to start. He’s competing against Cedric Thornton and Vinny Curry.

• Saw some three-safety looks with Patrick Chung in the slot. Said Kelly: “It's a case of trying to mix and match as best we can.”

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