Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles training camp Day 15 observations: Blount finds no room in live periods

Dave Zangaro |

Eagles training camp Day 15 observations: Blount finds no room in live periods

Two days after the preseason opener in Green Bay, the Eagles were back on the practice field in Philadelphia … without Jordan Matthews. 

Saturday, of course, was the first day since the big trade that sent Matthews and a third-round pick in 2018 to Buffalo and brought cornerback Ronald Darby to Philly. 

Without wasting time, here are 10 observations from Day 15 at training camp: 

1. *Clears throat* injuries: Nick Foles (elbow), Bryce Treggs (leg soreness), Paul Turner (shoulder), Wendell Smallwood (hamstring), Ron Brooks (hamstring), Aaron Grymes (personal reasons), Josh Andrews (hand), Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee), Brandon Brooks (hamstring) and Anthony Denham (calf) did not practice. 

Vaitai injured his knee during Thursday's game. It initially looked like a scary injury but he had just a sleeve on his leg Saturday. Head coach Doug Pederson said they're expecting Big V to just miss a couple days of practice. Ron Brooks injured his hamstring in the game but said after practice Saturday keeping him out is just precautionary. 

Trey Burton and Chance Warmack left practice early with undisclosed injuries. 

2. The Eagles had their third and final live period (tackling to the ground) of training camp. It seemed like a pretty long and tough practice for two days after the first preseason game, but that was the plan all along. 

Pederson wasn't swayed to make it tougher because of sloppy play against the Packers. 

"I just wanted to do it after a ball game just because the starters didn't play a ton in that game," he said. "Wanted to give them a day, then come back with a spirited, live period practice."

3. LeGarrette Blount missed the live periods earlier in training camp, so Saturday offered a chance to see him in real football situations. He didn't do very well. In the game Thursday, Blount had four carries for nine yards. It was more of the same at practice. 

He had several carries but gained just a few yards. Maybe we won't really see what he has left until the season starts. 

4. Shelton Gibson has turned things around. He made another great catch near the sideline over C.J. Smith in 11-on-11s, but he's not completely over his troubles. He had a pretty egregious drop in the game Thursday. And on Saturday, he crossed the middle of the field and made an awkward jump catch when he didn't need to jump. He's going in the right direction but isn't there yet. 

5. With Matthews gone, Nelson Agholor settled into the top slot receiver position as expected. Agholor didn't just work with the first team Saturday, he worked with the twos and even the threes as well. It's clear the Eagles are now working to get him a ton of reps in the slot to prepare him for the season. He's going to need to spend a lot of time there. Others will be worked in the slot as well. Mack Hollins had an active day in the middle of the field. 

6. With Ron Brooks' hamstring injury, the Eagles had Malcolm Jenkins work as the nickel cornerback Saturday. That's exactly what the team did in 2016 when Brooks was lost for the year after rupturing his quad tendon. Jenkins likes playing in the slot, but it really weakened the team on the back end. 

On Saturday, though, it was newcomer Corey Graham who filled in for Jenkins at safety when Jenkins moved up to slot corner. Graham is already ahead of Jaylen Watkins and Terrence Brooks for the third safety slot. The Eagles will probably feel more comfortable moving Jenkins into the slot cornerback spot if needed with Graham as his replacement. 

7. Donnel Pumphrey fumbled a ball during an 11-on-11 rep Saturday. Not a good sign for the young rookie, who struggled in his preseason debut Thursday night. He had trouble securing the ball in that game. Rookies who put the ball on the ground have a hard time getting on the field. 

8. Carson Wentz didn't have a very sharp day. His best pass of the morning went to a streaking Torrey Smith, who snuck behind Jalen Mills in coverage. It'll be fun to see Smith go up against Ronald Darby once the new corner is practicing. Wentz kind of seemed sluggish Saturday; in fact a lot of the team did. Perhaps it was a sort of hangover after losing Matthews in the trade. He was a favorite in the locker room and, while some don't want to believe it, football players are people with emotions. 

9. Defensive end Alex McCalister has started to pick it up over the last week. He still might have an uphill battle to make the team, but he's really been improving. He made a few plays in the game — against the third team, but still — Thursday night. And he kept it going Saturday. He showed an impressive move inside that was obviously set up by the fact that offensive tackles need to respect his speed. He made a quick move inside and the tackle was left flat-footed as he got in on the QB. 

10. Jordan Hicks has the unbelievable ability, especially for a linebacker, to just always be around the ball. On Saturday, he broke up a pass he probably should have caught in the first 11-on-11 drills but redeemed himself later. In a red zone period, he floated back and picked off Matt McGloin in the middle of the end zone. He just has a knack for making big plays. 

Stupid Observation of the Day: Blount seemed so happy to get his No. 29 back, but as he came out of the NovaCare Complex for practice, he had his jersey rolled up so no one could see the number.

Dimitri Patterson injures 2 police officers trying to flee court room

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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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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.