Despite missing practice, Wolff optimistic to play

Despite missing practice, Wolff optimistic to play

Eagles Extra crew breaks down Eagles-Saints matchup

January 1, 2014, 3:15 pm
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Earl Wolff (knee) did not participate in practice on Wednesday. (USA Today Images)

Chip Kelly didn’t give a ringing endorsement for Earl Wolff’s chance to play Saturday night against the Saints.

Wolff, on the other hand, seemed much more encouraged.

Even though he didn’t practice Wednesday for the second straight day and missed Sunday’s NFC East-clinching win over Dallas with a knee injury, Wolff said his chances of playing against the Saints at the Linc in a first-round playoff game are “pretty high.”

“Honestly, it felt good today,” he said after practice. “I feel better than I felt any day last week. I’m just looking forward to going out there [Thursday]. I’m gonna do a whole lot.”

The Eagles have a walkthrough tomorrow and jogthrough Friday in preparation for Saturday night’s game, but Wolff said he would test his knee more and see how it responds.

Before practice, Kelly said Wolff needed to practice in order to play (see story). And when Wolff came out in a knit Eagles cap and sweatpants, it seemed as if Kelly’s comments suggested that the rookie safety was primed to miss his second straight game and sixth of the past seven.

But Wolff said he’s much more optimistic that he can play against the Saints, who have the NFL’s fourth-ranked offense and second-ranked passing attack.

Almost seems like a game of he said/he said.

“That’s how I feel,” Wolff added. “You never know how they feel. That’s how I feel. I’m going to stay positive.”

Typically this year, if an Eagle doesn’t practice all week, he doesn’t play. Wolff actually practiced the week leading up to the Bears game and still didn’t play.

But with the Eagles in an elimination scenario, the coaches could opt to take their chances with Wolff, who played better as a starter than his replacement, Patrick Chung, has.

Last week, Wolff said his knee hurt during practices and didn’t feel right in the pregame warmup at AT&T Stadium, which made the decision an easy one.

“When you don’t feel real comfortable out there, you don’t give yourself a chance,” he said. “I wasn’t real comfortable out there when I was warming up. I didn’t feel bad, I just felt like Patrick or Nate [Allen] could have done a better job. I felt like I would have hurt the team more than helped in certain situations.”