Eagles tight end Ingram drained, feels better

Cornelius Ingram expects to play against the Jets.
Cornelius Ingram expects to play against the Jets.
Posted: August 30, 2010

Two-hundred-seventy milliliters of fluid in your left calf, arising from a problem in your left knee, is quite a bit to have sloshing around down there. Nine ounces. No wonder Cornelius Ingram's left calf was about three times the size of his right last week, at the point when the Eagles had him stop practicing and go get the whole thing checked out again.

The diagnosis was a Baker's cyst, a swollen, fluid-filled bursal sac behind the knee, often associated with arthritis or cartilage damage. The cyst was drained on Friday and Ingram was back on the practice field yesterday, moving a bit gingerly, belatedly trying to salvage a preseason that has not been what he'd hoped.

"It was one of those things that was just naggin', naggin', naggin'. In the middle of the process, it was almost like I could feel everything deflate. Feeling better, already. I feel 10 times better than I did the other day. Calf's gone down a lot."

Ingram tore the ACL in his left knee each of the past 2 years. The fluid in his knee and calf began bothering him early in this training camp, keeping him from becoming a factor at the tight-end position. Right now, it seems most likely that the Birds will either IR Ingram again, leading to another lost season, or cut him, perhaps with the thought that they ought to be able to bring him back for the practice squad; chances are, despite his strong college career at Florida, Ingram hasn't been healthy and sharp enough this year to interest anyone else.

"I'm definitely playing," in Thursday's preseason finale against the Jets, Ingram said. But Brent Celek and Clay Harbor seem pretty well established ahead of Ingram at tight end. The Eagles also have Nate Lawrie. They are expected to move for a veteran at some point before practice starts next week for the Sept. 12 season opener against Green Bay.

Ingram acknowleged that the cyst can come back. Obviously, the fact that it formed at all doesn't say great things about the long-term prospects for his scarred knee.

"We're definitely going to stay on top of it," Ingram said.

Asked if his recovery has seemed like one thing after another, he said: "It has. It's just something I have to deal with. Just try to put everything to the side and practice as hard as I can, go as hard as I can whenever I have an opportunity to do so . . . I feel good now, and that's the important thing."

The route whisperer

One-on-one route-running drills yesterday, Jason Avant comes off the line, Asante Samuel, watching from the near sideline, yells "Double hitch! Double hitch!" Sure enough, Avant runs a double hitch, Trevard Lindley deflects the ball away.

"How'd you know that?" wideouts coach David Culley demands.

"I know everybody's phone number over there," Samuel answers. "I got everybody's seven-digit."

Running for cover

Even though they had David Akers kicking off directionally, the Eagles' kick coverage Friday in Kansas City again was terrible, with Chiefs rookie Dexter McCluster averaging 37 yards on three returns.

"I think we've had chances to make a few plays and they've broken a few tackles," rookie safety Kurt Coleman said. "We're getting down there; you've just got to be able to make a play. I wouldn't be concerned about it. I think the coaches will continue to stress it, and we'll work on it a lot during practice, and I feel like we've actually gotten better from the first week . . . as we finalize this roster, we'll be able to put the best people out there."

For more Eagles coverage and opinion, read the Daily News' Eagles blog, Eagletarian, at www.eagletarian.com.

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