Avonte Maddox thought his season was over.
When the Eagles’ talented nickel corner tore his pec in Week 2 of the season, he didn’t initially expect to be able to return in 2023. He needed surgery and knew there was a long healing process ahead of him.
“I feel like it’s been forever but I’ve worked hard to get here today,” Maddox said.
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This week, the Eagles opened Maddox’s practice window and while Maddox wasn’t ready to say definitively that he’d be back for Monday night against the Giants, he has been a full participant in the first two days of practice this week.
Maddox, 27, will be available to help as the Eagles make their push into the playoffs.
“I made my mindset to work hard each and every day to try to get here,” Maddox said. “Because last year was tough going out with the injury as well and then having surgery and then having surgery again. I just attacked it and made sure I was able to do as well as I can inside the training room.”
In recent seasons, Maddox has missed considerable time with injuries. But needing surgery after Week 2 this year was particularly tough because he also needed to have surgery after the Super Bowl to repair a turf toe injury.
So the first two surgeries of Maddox’s career came just seven months apart.
“That was the tough part. Mentally was the tough part,” Maddox said. “But each and every day I came in and the training staff was very, very encouraging. And so me coming to practice, watching the games, made it a lot better. The first part of it when I had my surgery, I was at home, sitting on the couch. That was probably the most mental part that was pretty tough.”
Right after surgery, Maddox was forced to stay away from the team as he healed up.
While Maddox was attacking his rehab, that was extremely hard on him.
“That’s hard, just watching them on TV,” he said. “I’m just at home and it’s like you’re distant from the team a little bit. Once I was able to start coming back around, I started to feel better. These guys encouraged me every day.”
Maddox said getting the chance to be around his teammates gave him a boost and about a month ago he realized that there was a very legitimate chance he’d be able to return this season. Maddox has been able to keep his conditioning up and has regained the strength in his left arm. He’s also been back in meetings for the last few weeks to make sure he’s up on the defense.
Maddox should give the Eagles a big boost.
Because after Maddox’s injury this season, there has been a revolving door at the nickel corner spot with Mario Goodrich, Josiah Scott, Eli Ricks, Sydney Brown, James Bradberry and Bradley Roby.
Getting Maddox back should help settle down a secondary that has been underperforming for most of the season.
If Maddox is on the field on Christmas afternoon against the Giants, he’d be pretty excited.
“Best feeling in the world,” Maddox said with a smile. “I don’t know. I love playing the game. I respect the game. I love playing with them guys. When I’m out on that field, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but there. Anytime I can step back on the field, it puts a big smile on my face and I really be having more fun.”