Monday, September 04, 2006

Right Now Eagles Have Healthy Outlook

One thing that can rip a team apart even more than a Terrell Owens tantrum is a key injury. The Eagles had their share of injuries last year, which had as much to do with their 6-10 record as Owens' destructive behavior.
If the Eagles bounce back and resume their role as playoff contender, they will have to stay relatively healthy, which is why the results from the preseason were so encouraging.
Only one player didn't participate in practice on Monday - running back and punt retuners Reno Mahe, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the Eagles' 16-7 preseason win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Aug. 25.
Mahe said on Monday that it was too early to tell if he would be able to play. If not, Lito Sheppard and Brian Sheppard would be the punt returning options, Reid said. And both of those players are more explosive than Mahe, but the Eagles don't want to make it a regular habit, to risk a starter returning punts.
Either way, if Mahe's injury is the worst going into Sunday's regular season opener in Houston against the Texans, then the Eagles are in good shape.
The Eagles did a lot of hitting in training camp, so the lack of key injuries can't be attributed to Reid protecting the players in camp.
If the Eagles can keep the injuries to a minimum, they should be a serious contender in the NFC East and NFC in general. Then again, that could be said about many teams.
More than anything, in a sport as physical as football, the teams with decent talent that stay the healthiest, often play the longest, into February to be exact.

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