PHILADELPHIA CREAM – Eagles Tight Ends coach Jason Michael was supervising a blocking drill during Thursday’s practice at the NovaCare complex, holding a black bag with a number on the front. Michael, a former college quarterback turned tight ends coach, returned to his playing days calling a cadence, barking the rapid sound to alert tight ends Jack Stoll and Tyree Jackson to start blocking.
Things were different for Michael again. Unlike Wednesday when Dallas Goedert was not participating in training, he held the pad for Goedert to make contact and push him back before ending the block.
Goedert, who was in the concussion protocol, resumed training on Thursday. Goedert took a knee in the head in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos and did not return. However, on Thursday Goedert took part in a ball safety drill and caught a few passes during special teams training.
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One person who knows how Goedert is doing is his roommate, cornerback Avonte Maddox. Ahead of training, Maddox said Goedert was in a good mood given he suffered a head injury.
“He’s good,” Maddox said. “Dallas is still good. I live with him so when he comes home he always has a smile on his face. I always look forward to Dallas being on the court. If he can come back there soon, I will certainly be happy.
With only one practice to go, Goedert’s availability in question for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. If he’s able to play, quarterback Jalen Hurts will have one of his main targets against a 26th-ranked Saints team in pass defense (264.9 yards per game).
If Goedert isn’t playing, the Eagles may need to make some changes to their sudden attack. Stoll or Jackson would see more playing time if Goedert was left out of the game. It could also mean that JJ Arcega-Whiteside could see more snaps to help with some blocking responsibilities. The other possibility is that the Eagles raise Richard Rodgers, the seven-year veteran, of the practice squad. Rodgers is well aware of the offense and could step in and contribute.
Davion Taylor is “ready to go” despite a bone contusion
Linebacker Davion Taylor was a surprise list in Wednesday’s injury report, missing out on Wednesday’s visit due to a knee injury. Taylor said on Thursday he is recovering and should play against the Saints.
“It’s pretty good,” Taylor said. “I had something like a bone contusion, but I was able to play for the rest of the game. I think it was a good sign. I shouldn’t miss any important moment or anything. I’m just doing my rehabilitation. I feel better every day and he should be ready to go on Sunday. “
Taylor has been playing well lately since seeing an increase in his defensive snaps. Taylor has 23 tackles, one tackle for a loss and two forced fumbles in the last four games. Taylor’s ability to read coins improves, allowing his physical abilities to take over and create saves.
“The refrigerator and the freezer”
The Eagles have a lot of size on the left side of their offensive line. Left tackle Jordan Mailata is 6 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 365 pounds. The person next to Mailata, rookie left guard Landon Dickerson, is 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 333 pounds. The two worked together again in practice on Wednesday, working on some combination blocks under the direction of offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland.
During yesterday’s media availability, Mailata jokingly referred to Dickerson as a “sports refrigerator,” referring to the size of the offensive lineman. After hearing the comment, Dickerson embraced the comment and made his own retort on Thursday, calling out describing Mailata as another household appliance.
“It’s going well,” Dickerson said. “If I got a refrigerator, it’s a walk-in freezer. It’s the fridge and freezer combo I guess. You can’t go wrong with this.
Besides this combination being a dream scenario for home appliance stores to sponsor, the two worked well together in the racing game. According to Accurate football analysis, in less than three weeks, the Eagles have run the ball 61 times in the area between the left tackle and the center. The offense has had seven explosive runs in that span, meaning rushed plays that lasted 10 yards or more.
Their combined size makes it possible to run behind. No wonder they describe themselves as they did.
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Chris Franklin can be reached at [email protected].