Soon after his first full practice since Nov. 1, Avonte Maddox said he felt “pretty good.”
Then he paused and smiled and said, “Actually, I feel great.”
And that’s great news for the Eagles, who appear to have a good chance to get their slot cornerback on Sunday.
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The Eagles placed Maddox on Injured Reserve Nov. 14 with a hamstring injury he suffered the previous week against the Texans. He was required to miss at least four games before becoming eligible to play again, and after he sat out the Commanders, Colts, Packers and Titans games, the Eagles opened his practice window earlier this week.
He still has one more test in Friday’s practice, but Thursday was a big step forward.
“Went well, able to run, didn’t do anything too crazy,” he said. “We’ll see how I’m doing as the week continues and hopefully be ready on Sunday. Definitely encouraged. Just being back being able to run again. There was a point where I couldn’t even walk without hurting myself.”
Maddox got hurt in the third quarter during the Thursday night game in Houston on Nov. 3. He said he’s never dealt with a hamstring before, so it’s a new experience figuring out how to navigate these last few weeks.
“They already told me if I feel anything, just let them know and they’ll shut me down, but I’m confident in the treatment I’ve gotten, the trainers took care of me and feel like strength is the part I need to (improve) the most right now,” he said.
“Still feels a little fatigued just running on it right now. I just have to know the difference between being tired or if I’m over-stressing it, and I feel like I know the difference. I’ll be tired because I haven’t been doing anything for a month, but other than that I feel really good.”
Maddox started five of the six games he’s played this year and has 33 starts since the Eagles made him a fourth-round pick in 2018. In the five games he’s played start to finish this year, he’s been on the field for 86 percent of the Eagles’ defensive snaps. Only Marcus Epps (99 percent), James Bradberry (98), T.J. Edwards (95) and Darius Slay (89) have played a higher percentage of snaps when healthy.
Maddox has 27 tackles, three pass knockdowns, one tackle for loss and one forced fumble this year. He has four career interceptions, including one in the Eagles’ win over the Vikings in Week 2.
With Jordan Davis and Maddox off IR, the next player the Eagles should get back is tight end Dallas Goedert, who went on IR Nov. 16 with a shoulder injury suffered against the Commanders.
Safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson went on IR Saturday with the lacerated kidney he suffered against the Packers. He’s out for at least another three games.
“Definitely nice to see,” Maddox said. “Feels like we’re getting somebody back almost every week. Bam-Bam (Davis) last week, then me and Dallas next. Great to get back to being almost a complete team and seeing how far we can go.”
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