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Philadelphia Eagles Return Several Key Players to Practice After Bye Week

October 21st, 2014 at 9:36 PM
By Nick Gill

The bye week was very good to the 5-1 Philadelphia Eagles. The team was able to get several key players healthy and back at practice. Running back Darren Sproles, linebacker Mychal Kendricks, and center Jason Kelce are among the important pieces who were able to get back on the field.

"They're all back,” head coach Chip Kelly said. “[RB Darren] Sproles is practicing, [RB Chris] Polk is practicing, [LB Mychal] Kendricks is practicing. Everybody is practicing everybody but [WR] Brad Smith. [C Jason] Kelce will practice, I don't know what they'll do and [G] Evan Mathis can't practice until tomorrow.”

Those are huge steps forward for Sproles, Kendricks and Kelce specifically. Kendricks has missed the last four games since suffering a calf injury against the Indianapolis Colts. Sproles sprained is MCL in his knee against the New York Giants, and Kelce had surgery for a sports hernia. It is still too early in the week to know the status of each player heading into the game Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, but getting onto the practice field is a big plus.

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Philadelphia Eagles Bring Back Former Draft Pick C Julian Vandervelde

October 14th, 2014 at 5:09 PM
By Nick Gill

The Philadelphia Eagles brought back a familiar face with the signing of center Julian Vandervelde. Vandervelde is a former fifth-round pick of the Eagles who was let go this summer because of a back injury. The injury has healed and the Eagles struck a deal to get Vandervelde back into the mix along the offensive line to provide much needed depth.

All of the injuries Philly has had along the offensive line are well documented. They are without center Jason Kelce and guard Evan Mathis due to sports hernia and knee injuries, respectively. Vandervelde can help the Eagles with those injuries because of his versatility, something head coach Chip Kelly covets. Vandervelde appeared in 14 games for Philadelphia in 2013. His primary position was as a back-up center, but he brings some guard experience as well.

The 6-2, 300 pound Vandervelde was originally drafted by the Eagles in the fifth-round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He split time on the team's practice squad and active roster in that time period. He was a member of the Eagles in the preseason and training camp, so he is familiar with the scheme and responsibilities in the system. He will get the opportunity to play behind David Molk until Kelce is ready to go. Vandervelde will have the bye week to acclimate himself to the team.

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Philadelphia Eagles Defense Dominates in 27-0 Win Over New York Giants

October 13th, 2014 at 10:24 AM
By Nick Gill

The Philadelphia Eagles defense has taken their fair share of criticism over the course of the season. On Sunday night against the New York Giants, the Eagles defense put together their finest effort of the year. They dominated the game and totally shut down a Giants offense that had been cruising the past three weeks.

The Eagles controlled the entire game against their NFC East rivals. The defense abused the Giant offensive line to the tune of eight sacks. Connor Barwin paced the pass rush with three sacks and Vinny Curry added two more. The Eagles secondary contributed to the sack total with very good coverage all night. The Giants offense was held to 253 total yards. Quarterback Eli Manning was under duress constantly and finished the game 13-23 for 151 yards. The Eagles also shut down the Giants running game allowing only 85 yards on 23 attempts.

“There wasn’t that many blitzes, and that’s what I mean,” Barwin said. “I mean the coverages were pretty special tonight, because I know my first sack was purely a coverage sack and then the rest of the time like I said Eli was holding onto the ball.”

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Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks Out, CB Brandon Boykin Questionable for Sunday

October 3rd, 2014 at 3:03 PM
By Nick Gill

The Philadelphia Eagles are dealing with two key injuries on defense in preparation for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams. The Eagles will be without the services of linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who missed the last two games with a calf injury and will miss the Rams game as well. Cornerback Brandon Boykin is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.

Boykin did not practice on Wednesday, but was a full participant in practice Thursday and Friday. That should bode well for his chances to play Sunday. He mans the nickel spot in the Eagles defense and that role would shift to safety Malcolm Jenkins if Boykin is unable to play. Earl Wolff would replace Jenkins at safety in those situations.

Kendricks missing is a huge blow to the Eagles defense because of the speed and play making ability he brings. He has been unable to get back on the practice field since he injured his calf in the second week of the season against the Indianapolis Colts. Head coach Chip Kelly has seen progress for Kendricks, but not enough to get back on the field.

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Philadelphia Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins Proving to Be Vital Playmaker on Defense

October 1st, 2014 at 10:37 AM
By Nick Gill

After the revolving door of safeties the Philadelphia Eagles have had in the last few years, Malcolm Jenkins was signed as a free agent this offseason to stabilize the position. He has come in and made a tremendous impact for the Eagles with his playmaking ability.

“We were expecting a lot from him,” defensive coordinator Bill Davis said. “We really liked what we saw on tape. He wasn't everyone's pick but he definitely was our No. 1 guy that we were going after for what he fit and how he fit us, and he's lived up and beyond our expectations.”

Jenkins has three interceptions in four games this season, including an interception in three consecutive games. Last week against the San Francisco 49ers, Jenkins intercepted a pass and returned it all the way back for a 53 yard touchdown.

“On the play, it was one of those coverages that allows us to free up depending on what the offense does,” Jenkins said. “I was able to free up right into the throwing lane. He kind of threw it right to me. Once I caught it and I saw how everything was setting up, I did think I had a chance to go all the way. I didn’t think it was going to take that much moving, but we want to score every time we get the opportunity to on defense. That was a big play for us.”

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