The injury report was relatively clean for the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, minus one important defensive starter. Josh Sweat missed his second straight practice with an undisclosed non-COVID illness. Hopefully, it’s nothing too serious and he’s cleared in time for Sunday’s 1 p.m. kickoff.
Sweat has been a breakout star at defensive end in his fourth season. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder is tied for the team lead in sacks (7.5) with Javon Hargrave while ranking second in quarterback hits (18) and tackles for loss (7). Sweat continues to establish himself as one of the Eagles’ most dominant pass rushers after inking a three-year, $40 million contract extension on September 18. His presence has been vital ever since Pro Bowler Brandon Graham landed on injured reserve.
“I’ve come a long way. I’m still going,” Sweat said after signing his deal. “I’ve got a lot more I want to do. That’s the small part to me. Now I want to be the best.”
Meanwhile, Miles Sanders practiced in full for a second straight day and the assumption is he’ll suit up on Sunday. The Eagles’ starting running back fractured his hand against New York on December 26 and missed the final two games of the year. He finished with 754 rushing yards on 137 carries during an injury-plagued 2021 campaign. Sanders failed to register a single touchdown in 12 games.
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Eagles Players Discuss Playoff Preparation
The cliched manta being drilled into Eagles players this week is that Sunday is just another game. Forget the wild-card playoff logos on the field. Block out the national TV audience. And don’t stare directly at Tom Brady’s seven shiny Super Bowl rings. So far, so good.
Of course, head coach Nick Sirianni has the ultimate trump card in his deck: Super Bowl champions in the locker room. Nine to be exact, including guys on injured reserve. Two of them have been providing calm before the storm.
“Go big or go home, baby. That’s really where it’s at,” right tackle Lane Johnson said. “You try not to get caught up in the hype and everything that’s going on around you but with that said it is hard so just trying to eliminate the distractions and try and have a good Thursday practice today and move forward.”
“Having the same level of preparation that you’ve had since we started the season,” safety Rodney McLeod said. “Don’t switch anything up because now it’s the playoffs or now it’s the Super Bowl, just be who you are because that’s going to be enough.”
Steven Nelson Gets Signing Bonus
Cornerback Steven Nelson missed out on a $375,000 play-time incentive because the Eagles rested him in Week 18. They wanted to sit all their starters to keep them fresh for the playoffs. Well, the franchise has rewarded Nelson (via ESPN’s Field Yates) for sticking to the plan by giving him a $375,000 signing bonus to make up for it.
That’s a pretty cool gesture by a classy organization. And Nelson may be in line for a big pay raise this offseason if anyone was listening to Darius Slay.