He hasn't played. He didn't start practicing until Wednesday. He's coming off surgery. Opening day is just a few days away.
Can Fletcher Cox still be Fletcher Cox?
You know the answer.
It's like riding a bike," Cox said. "You do it for so long as a kid you never forget how to ride a bike. … It's a long season and I just had to be smart about my injury post-surgery and we had a really good plan with the medical staff and the coaches understood - and now I am where I am and I'm ready to roll. I will see a lot of stuff this week and I'll be prepared for it.
Cox suffered ligament damage early in the Eagles-Saints playoff game in New Orleans back in January, underwent surgery and spent the entire offseason rehabbing.
The three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle participated in a walkthrough on Monday, practiced Wednesday and just like that pronounced himself ready to go against the Redskins Sunday.
Whatever the coaches got planned, I'll be ready for," he said. "I feel great. Glad to be back out there, back with my teammates, building that chemistry. I haven't been out there in a bit with the guys, just really excited to be out there with those boys.
There was a point where it looked iffy whether Cox would be back for the opener.
Mainly when he wasn't even seen working on the side field with trainers with the other rehabbing guys.
The Eagles have some depth at defensive tackle now with Cox, Tim Jernigan and newcomers Malik Jackson and Hassan Ridgeway.
But Cox is their best defensive player and one of the most dominating defensive linemen in franchise history.
This is a different team without Cox. They need him.
You just about got to take a limb for me not to be out there for those guys," Cox said after practice Wednesday. "I knew I was ready. Still have to be smart about it, still taking time, step by step. I'd do anything for those guys, but I had to take my time and get back into things, but right now I'm ready to roll.
Cox averaged about 50 snaps per game last year, or about 80 percent of the Eagles' snaps.
Expect that number to start out closer to 25 to 30 and gradually rise as Cox gets into football shape.
I just do what the coaches tell me on Sunday," he said. "Whatever plan they got, I'm sure they'll sit me down and share it with me and I'll be prepared for whatever they present to me. At the end of the day, I've got to trust them and they've got to trust me, and I've got to know how I feel and tell them how I feel.
Cox has missed only three games since he was a rookie back in 2012. He's played 115 of a possible 118 games, including the playoffs.
He wasn't going to miss this one.
It's always hard not going out competing with the guys that you go to war with on Sundays," Cox said. "Just trying not to have too many setbacks, trying not to rush a whole lot of stuff and just being smart about it. The main focus was for me to be mentally ready and physically ready to go out there and battle.
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