Some Sidelined, Some Returning At Mini-Camp
Not all the Eagles will be available for duty when the team takes the field on Saturday for mini-camp. General manager Tom Heckert says that cornerback Lito Sheppard, center Hank Fraley and wide receiver Todd Pinkston are three key players who aren't expected to do much.
Sheppard is recovering from an ankle injury that cost him the final six games. Pinkston missed the entire season with an Achilles injury suffered in training camp.
Fraley missed the final eight games with a shoulder injury. All are expected to be ready for training camp in July.
One key person everybody will watch is safety and return man J.R. Reed, who missed all of last season with nerve damage following an off-field accident.
With the use of a brace, Reed has made a comeback after initial fears were that his football career would be over.
"I think it's very realistic that he could play this year," Heckert said. "You won't be able to tell there is anything wrong with him when he has the brace on. If you see him without a brace, then you would think he can't play."
Reed was a solid return man, although there will be plenty of competition with the arrival of fifth round pick Jeremy Bloom and the return of a more experienced and confident Bruce Perry.
One of the interesting notes of the mini-camp is the progress Reed. For those who think the mini-camp is three days of glorified exercise, Reed is an example that these workouts in May have a lot to do whether somebody sticks with the team in September.