An eight-year veteran, Samuel doesn't need to practice every day before a game. Surely, though, the Eagles would like to see how the NFL's interceptions leader moves before the team hops on an airplane Saturday.
"You're talking about a lot of production there," McDermott said when asked about the possibility of not having Samuel, who has seven picks.
If Samuel is grounded, Joselio Hanson will start. Hanson said that he would move back to his regular spot as the nickel back on passing downs and that rookie Trevard Lindley would take over on the outside.
It appears more likely that the defense will be without defensive end Juqua Parker. He missed another practice with a hip-flexor strain, and rookie Brandon Graham has told reporters that he is starting.
Another starter joined the injury list Thursday when defensive tackle Antonio Dixon left practice early with an unspecified abdomen problem. Guard Nick Cole (knee) joined Dixon as a limited participant in practice.
Despite a bobble and a nearly lost fumble against the Redskins two weeks ago, Jorrick Calvin has the full confidence of Bobby April as the Eagles' primary kick returner. Well, at least that's what the special-teams coordinator said. "We are excited about the guy," April said. "We think the guy is really talented." Calvin got the job back after Ellis Hobbs injured his neck this past Sunday and was lost for the season. April said that either receiver Jeremy Maclin or running back Eldra Buckley would back up Calvin and that the Eagles were teaching running back Jerome Harrison how to return. . . . The Bears' return game, on the other hand, is bolstered by Devin Hester, whom April said had to be considered one of the best punt returners to ever play the game. "He's like Minnesota Fats," April said. "He's playing a couple shots ahead." . . . Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was asked about the contention made by a few Giants players that Eagles guard Todd Herremans played dirty on Sunday. "It's an emotional game, sometimes," Mornhinweg said. "You know?"
Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Jeff_McLane.
Staff writer Jonathan Tamari contributed to this story.