Eagles safety K’Von Wallace was off to a great start to his second NFL training camp until last Tuesday when during a 1-on-1 drill against Zach Ertz, Wallace’s leg hyperextended and he felt his groin pull.
Early word from the Eagles was that he was week-to-week.
That didn’t last long.
Wallace, 24, was upgraded to day-to-day by Saturday and returned to practice by Monday.
On Tuesday, a week to the day from his injury, Wallace confidently said he was completely healthy and would be a full-go for the Eagles’ second preseason game against the Patriots.
“Man, I am the Wolverine. I heal fast,” Wallace said. “That’s what I do.”
Wallace pointed out that he hurt his shoulder against the Ravens last year and missed just one week after trainers expected him to be out 3 to 4 weeks.
“By the blessing of God, I eat healthy, I am healthy and I heal fast,” he said.
That’s certainly good news for the 2020 fourth-round pick. Because in his absence safeties Marcus Epps and Andrew Adams have looked pretty good next to starter Anthony Harris. Remember, Rodney McLeod (knee) is still on PUP, so there are first-team reps at stake.
Those first-team reps largely belonged to Wallace before the injury but on Tuesday he was relegated to second string while Epps continued to work with the starters.
But Wallace looks healthy out there and even had a jawing session with Patriots quarterback Cam Newton during the second of two joint practices. Watching the ones from the sideline, Wallace sarcastically congratulated Newton on completing check down after check down in the red zone. It seemed to ruffle Cam’s feathers.
“I feel like whoever is the opposition,” Wallace said, “I’m going to do my best to get in their head, to say what I need to say and do what I need to do to beat them, to win.”
Confidence is certainly not an issue for the safety as he enters Year 2.
And if you’re upset that Wallace used the term “Wolverine” to describe himself, don’t be. Yes, Brian Dawkins and Wolverine go hand in hand, but Dawk has served as a sort of mentor for the fellow Clemson product and the two keep in touch.
After the entire 2020 preseason was wiped out because of COVID-19, Thursday’s game against the Patriots will be the first preseason game of Wallace’s career. It’ll be a chance for him to finally get extended reps on defense.
“I felt like last year if I had a preseason, I probably would have gotten more playing time so I could prove myself,” Wallace said. “I had to prove myself in actual games when it counted and I couldn’t have any mistakes. Preseason, it’s all about getting better and I feel like I missed that opportunity last year due to the pandemic.”
So it makes sense that Wallace is very excited to play on Thursday. His first goal is to simply get a win. He said he doesn’t care that it’s preseason; he still wants to see the Eagles end up with more points than the Patriots.
As far as personal goals?
“I just want to play fast, be who I am,” Wallace said. “Be who I am. A playmaker. You can put me in the box, you can put me deep, anywhere and I’m going to make plays.”
While many came into camp thinking that Wallace was more of a box safety, it’s clear that Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon wants his safeties to be interchangeable.
So we’ve actually seen a lot of Wallace at free safety this summer too.
“Man, if you watch camp, I’ve been balling back in the middle as a safety,” Wallace said. “I’ve been getting my hands on balls all camp. I feel confident, man. I’m healthy. I’m as healthy as I’ve been, I’m as confident as I’ve been. I got a great system. We’re a brotherhood; we’ve got unity. So I feel like this is a special year coming for me and the team.”
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