Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles camp notes, quotes and tidbits: Big guys field punts; Alshon Jeffery out 4th straight day

Eagles camp notes, quotes and tidbits: Big guys field punts; Alshon Jeffery out 4th straight day

The Eagles tried out two new punt returners on Friday: Jason Peters and Fletcher Cox. 

Toward the end of Friday's light 10/10/10 practice, head coach Doug Pederson sent Peters and Cox back to field two punts. Peters represented the offense and Cox represented the defense. 

What were the stakes? 

"I don't know if I'm supposed to discuss those things," Carson Wentz said. 

First, Peters needed to go to a knee to catch his ball, but he reeled it in. He estimated it was the first time he fielded a punt in over 10 years. 

Then, the pressure was on Cox. 

"Nah, there wasn't no pressure," Cox said. "No pressure at all. Just had to relax and catch the ball."

And he did. Thanks to Peters and Cox, the Eagles will get out of meetings earlier on Friday, heading into the off day on Saturday. 

A little earlier in practice, Pederson gathered the entire team around kicker Caleb Sturgis as he tried two 55-yard field goals. The stakes for that one were to extend team curfew. Maybe the pressure got to the kicker. He clanked the first off the right upright and sailed the second one wide right. 

"It makes it fun," Cox said. "It makes guys want to be here and be a part of what we're doing. At the same time, we have to work. The last three days have been a grind, with two of those days take-down-to-the-ground days. And yesterday was really a long grind day. I think it was the longest practice we've had with the muggy weather. It was good for us." 

"That's what I love about Coach Pederson," Wentz said. "He's a former player, so he kind of knows the dog days of camp, knows how to break up the monotony a little bit. That was cool today and I'm thankful JP made that catch. That's what Coach Pederson brings: the happy balance of work and keeping it light at times for the players."

Cox said he never questioned whether or not he would catch the punt. "I'm an athlete," he said. "You know that."  

Although, Darren Sproles' job is likely safe. 

"It was really good to see the athleticism," Pederson said. "Maybe if we get in a pinch, we'll stick them back there." 

Jeffery misses practice again
While LeGarrette Blount returned to the team after missing three days for personal reasons, Alshon Jeffery missed his fourth straight day of practice on Friday.

A shoulder injury has kept Jeffery out of practice this week, but Pederson said Jeffery is past the injury and Friday was just a rest day. He hasn't yet decided if Jeffery will play in the first preseason game in Green Bay next Thursday. 

"It's just a matter of keeping him rested," Pederson said. "We're not playing a game. I've seen a lot from him, probably more so than you guys have seen. I'm comfortable with where he's at in our offense. We're going to make sure he's healthy going into the season."

Jeffery hasn't practiced since Sunday. He missed Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week, which meant he missed the two days that featured tackling to the ground. 

Has Wentz had enough time to work with his new weapon? 

"I think the first week of training camp with Alshon, the throwing in Fargo, the spring stuff," Wentz said. "Obviously, I wish he would have been out there, but things happen. I'm excited to get him back, hopefully as soon as possible."

Nick Foles (elbow), Paul Turner (shoulder), Donnel Pumphrey (hamstring), Chris Long (rest), Josh Andrews (hand), Adam Zaruba (concussion) and Mychal Kendricks (groin) also missed practice. 

Corner or safety? 
Veteran defensive back Corey Graham didn't make it to Philly in time to practice on Friday, the day after he agreed to terms of a one-year deal

When the Eagles announced the deal, they listed Graham as a safety, which is important to note. While Graham has played safety for the past two seasons, he has played cornerback in the past. He actually played cornerback for Jim Schwartz in Buffalo in 2014. 

On Friday, Pederson said the Eagles will start the 32-year-old out as a safety but didn't rule out the possibility of his playing corner. 

"We've got to see," Pederson said. "It's been three years since he played (corner). We've got to see that when he gets here." 

The Eagles are clearly in more desperate need of cornerbacks than safeties. 

Next open practice
The Eagles will be back at practice on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. Practice starts at 10:05 a.m. 

It's free to come out and watch (parking is free too). Seats are first-come, first-serve. 

Dimitri Patterson injures 2 police officers trying to flee court room

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AP Images

Dimitri Patterson injures 2 police officers trying to flee court room

Former Eagles cornerback Dimitri Patterson injured two police officers while trying to flee during a family court hearing on Tuesday, according to police, via The Miami Herald.

Patterson, 34, appeared in Lawson E. Thomas Court Center when he was ordered by the judge to be taken into custody. At that time, he tried to run out of the door and tackled a female officer who fell and hit her head, while another officer suffered a wrist injury before Patterson was taken into custody.

The female officer was taken to the hospital but later released.

This isn’t Patterson’s first brush with the law. ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported in 2015 that the Miami native was charged with felony child abuse.

Per police reports obtained from the incident, Patterson met his ex-girlfriend at Aventura Mall on Aug. 1, 2015, for a custody exchange of their 1-year-old child when an argument ensued over child support payments.

“While placing the boy in the back seat of the car, Medina told Patterson to calm down, warning him that she wouldn't allow him to take the child,” Cimini reported.

“Patterson ‘grabbed her around her neck and threw her to the ground,’ according to the incident report. ‘While this occurred, [Medina] was holding [the boy]. This action caused [him] to fall also and hit his head.’”

Court records show Patterson was eventually acquitted for culpable negligence and battery.

Patterson spent time with the Redskins, Chiefs, Eagles, Browns, Dolphins and Jets during his eight-year career. With the Eagles in 2009 and 2010, he appeared in 27 games (nine starts) with 50 tackles, four interceptions and one sack.

Patterson was last with the Jets in 2014 but suspended indefinitely by the team after leaving without contacting the organization. He was released a short time later and retired.

NFL Notes: NFLPA officially appeals Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension

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USA Today Images

NFL Notes: NFLPA officially appeals Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension

NEW YORK -- The NFL Players Association has appealed Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension over the league's conclusion that its 2016 rushing leader injured his former girlfriend in three separate incidents last summer.

The union said Tuesday it will represent Elliott "to ensure that the NFL is held to its obligation of adhering to principles of industrial due process under the collective bargaining agreement."

The NFL suspended Elliott last week after a yearlong investigation into an Ohio domestic violence case that prosecutors declined to pursue. Elliott's attorneys blasted Commission Roger Goodell's ruling, saying the league "cherry-picked" evidence to reach its conclusion.

A hearing with Goodell or an arbitrator will be scheduled within 10 days with a decision "as soon as practicable" after the appeal is heard, according to the labor agreement.

The Cowboys open the regular season Sept. 10 at home against the New York Giants.

Panthers: Davis signs 1-year contract extension
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Thomas Davis won't have to worry about ever playing for another NFL team.

The Panthers have signed the 34-year-old veteran outside linebacker Thomas Davis to a one-year contract extension, keeping him with the team through the 2018 season. The deal is worth $6.76 million and includes $3 million in guaranteed money, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team doesn't release financial terms of contracts.

"I'm extremely excited. Everybody knows how I feel about being a Carolina Panther," Davis said in a team release Tuesday. "This extension solidifies me being here for the rest of my career, and I'm excited about that. Now I'm totally focused on winning a Super Bowl."

Davis' contract was set to expire after this season. Some blamed general manager Dave Gettleman's handling of extensions for Davis and tight end Greg Olsen as the reason he was fired earlier this offseason and replaced by interim general manager Marty Hurney. Olsen has two years left on his current contract but is seeking an extension, too (see full story).

Raiders: Lynch says teammates ‘proud’ of protest
NAPA, Calif. -- Marshawn Lynch isn't shedding anymore light on his decision to sit during the national anthem before the Oakland Raiders' first exhibition game.

Lynch declined to comment on why he chose to sit down Saturday night while the rest of his teammates stood during the anthem before a game in Arizona against the Cardinals.

That left his teammates to answer for him on Tuesday after the team returned for its first practice since that game.

"I'm proud of him," tight end Jared Cook said. "I think it's awesome. Everybody has points of discussion after what happened in Charlottesville just the night before. I think it's important for men in our position to step up and speak on unnecessary situations we find ourselves in as minorities in this country. That's why I'm proud of him" (see full story).

Jets: Whitehead out indefinitely with broken foot
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Lucky Whitehead has a broken foot and will be sidelined indefinitely.

Coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday that Whitehead was injured during practice Monday and it's uncertain whether he will need surgery. Bowles did not know if Whitehead will be out for the year, saying only that it'll be at least "a little while."

Whitehead, who was on crutches during the team's indoor practice, appeared to be the top contender to serve as the Jets' primary punt and kickoff returner.

The injury is the latest in a string of bad news for Whitehead, who has had a strange summer. He was waived by Dallas last month following a shoplifting incident that turned out to be a case of false identity. New York claimed Whitehead off waivers on July 26.