Eagles get good news on 5 injured starters

ROB MAADDI (AP Pro Football Writer)
The Associated Press
Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox during practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox during practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Philadelphia, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Eagles could have several injured starters in the lineup for the season opener.

Coach Doug Pederson said Monday that defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, right guard Brandon Brooks, linebacker Nigel Bradham, defensive end Derek Barnett and cornerback Ronald Darby should be ready for Sunday's game against Washington after missing the preseason.

''They all practiced (Monday),'' Pederson said. ''Looking good. So obviously we haven't made any official announcements on who is in, who is out, but we're going to take it day by day. We fully expect those guys to get time on Sunday.''

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Cox, a four-time Pro Bowl pick and 2018 All-Pro, and Bradham, the team's most reliable linebacker, are recovering from foot injuries suffered in a playoff loss at New Orleans. Brooks, a two-time Pro Bowl pick, tore his right Achilles tendon in the same game against the Saints. Barnett, a 2017 first-round pick, started six games before he had season-ending shoulder surgery. Darby started nine games before he tore his right ACL.

Pederson was quite optimistic about Barnett.

''He's been probably the one that's been practicing the most during training camp with getting more reps each and every week,'' Pederson said. ''So he's in a really good spot, so I have no issues with him not playing (in the preseason) or being there.''

Darby was one of three starters in the secondary to suffer season-ending injuries last season. Cornerback Jalen Mills is still not ready to return and was placed on the physically unable to perform list. Safety Rodney McLeod is back.

Pederson said Darby and Sidney Jones will likely start with Rasul Douglas getting snaps and Avonte Maddox working at the nickel cornerback spot.

''They are all going to play and that's kind of how we look at it,'' Pederson said.

Two-time Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson also is ready to go after sitting out most of training camp with a knee injury.

''We're gonna show up with Band-Aids and whatever we have to do,'' Johnson said. ''We'll be all right.''

The team practiced for the first time since the preseason finale last Thursday. Quarterback Carson Wentz didn't take a snap in the preseason and most starters played only two series.

''I felt like this unit really started coming together, or this team started coming together a couple weeks ago when we started really in that Baltimore week of work against them and even last week, keeping those guys working together,'' Pederson said.

''You see the communication and the things that go on that have to go on during a practice, during a play of a practice, depending on what you're working on. And I do think that these guys really did begin to communicate that way and come together.''

Notes: The Eagles signed CB Cre'Von LeBlanc to a one-year contract extension. ... Starting LB Kamu Grugier-Hill is running and moving closer to returning after spraining a knee ligament last month. ... Reserve OL Jordan Mailata is week to week with a back injury.

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