Rodney McLeod practiced for second consecutive day, Avonte Maddox added to injury list
PHILADELPHIA APIL pILADIA On Thursday, the safety of the Eagles stood in the middle of a field at the NovaCare Complex on one of Thursday's fields, waiting for the coaching staff instructions for preparing the next scheduled drill that would involve the defensive
He began working on his dropbacks with a brace on the left knee, and shifted his hips to simulate he moving his direction.
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Could McLeod be making the same motions for San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field? It's still to be seen.
McLeod was limited for the second straight practice. While he recovers from a torn ACL last season, McLeod continues to show improvement. The Eagles activated McLeod off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list before the season began. McLeod targeted last weeks game against the Atlanta Falcons as his target return date, but was inactive for the game.
One of his replacements, Marcus Epps and the Falcons team, left the game with a concussion. Epps was seen at practice wearing a green hoodie under his jersey when he ran around the field.
Having McLeod or Epps return for Sunday will be a significant factor for the Eagles' defense of Kittle and the area between the hash marks against the 49ers. Kittle scored 15 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown when the Eagles defeated the 49ers 24-20 in last season's matchup. According to Pro Football Focus, recognizing the importance of safeties and safetyties, 49ers quarterbacks C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens combined were 18 of 21 yards in their passing attempts of up to 20 yards between the
The Eagles are hoping to limit the damage done this year by using different methods to cover Kittle. If the 49ers replicate similar attacks, the defense might be relying on McLeod or Epps to bracket Kittle or to play as the free guard in zone coverage. If neither McLeod nor Epps can play, the onus could fall on second-year player KVon Wallace or the recently acquired Andre Chachere.
The Eagles added Avonte Maddox to the injury list. Maddox was a limited participant on Thursday with groin injury. Maddoxs injury is worth watching because the 49ers like to line up speedy wide receiver Deebo Samuel in the slot, potentially causing a problem for the Eagles. Samuel caught nine passes for 189 yards and a touchdown in the 49ers' Week 1 win against the Detroit Lions. If Maddox isn't ready to go, the Eagles may have to rely on Chachere or rookie cornerback Zech McPhearson to play inside as the nickel corner back.
Several veterans like Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, Breton Graham, Jason Kelce, Fletcher Cox, Darius Slay and Miles Sanders all returned after a day of rest Wednesday. Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan returned to practice.
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After being held out with an ankle injury Wednesday, wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside returned to practice and was limited. Arcega-Whiteside was seen taking part in individual drills with wide receivers.
The Eagles will release official injury designations such as who is questionable, doubtful, and who will be out of Sundays game at some point Friday.
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