Eagles safety Rodney McLeod on track to make 2021 debut vs. Chiefs

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Rodney McLeod on track to make 2021 debut vs. Chiefs originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Rodney McLeod was a full participant in practice Thursday and appears to be on track to make his first appearance of the year Sunday when the Eagles face the Chiefs at the Linc.

McLeod, the Eagles’ veteran safety, hasn’t played since tearing his ACL during a game against the Saints at the Linc on Dec. 13. He missed all of training camp, was activated off the PUP list on Aug. 30 and then was limited at practice the first few weeks of the regular season.

On Wednesday, he was finally listed for the first time as a full participant, but practice was a walkthrough and his status was merely a projection of what the Eagles believed his status would be in a full practice.

So Thursday was his first actual full practice in 9 ½ months.

McLeod’s expected return couldn’t have come at a better time. 

The Eagles are very thin at safety, with only Anthony Harris and Marcus Epps healthy. Harris is the only Eagles who’s played all 218 defensive snaps so far this year. K’Von Wallace went on Injured Reserve on Tuesday with a shoulder injury, and Andrew Adams, who got 1st-team reps during the summer, signed with the Buccaneers after the Eagles released him Aug. 31.

Epps started the opener in Atlanta but suffered a concussion against the Falcons, and Wallace has started the last two games, with Epps coming off the bench. So if McLeod starts, he’ll be the third safety in four weeks to start opposite Harris.

The Eagles need all the help they can get Sunday when they face Pat Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and the rest of the Chiefs at the Linc.

McLeod, 31, is one of only nine players remaining from the 2016 season, Doug Pederson’s first year as head coach.

McLeod was undrafted out of Virginia and spent his first four years with the Rams before signing with the Eagles in 2016. 

He has 14 career interceptions, nine of them as an Eagle. He's the only current Eagle with more than two interceptions in an Eagles uniform.

This was McLeod’s second knee rehab in the last three years. He missed the last 13 games of the 2018 season with a torn MCL suffered Week 3 against the Colts, also at the Linc.

How much two major knee injuries affect McLeod’s performance is unknown, but that’s a lot for anybody, much less a 31-year-old 10th-year veteran.

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