Eagles’ Graham says he’ll be back in time to face Cowboys

Posted: September 14, 2011

Eagles fans aren't the only ones that have an Oct. 30 date vs. the Cowboys circled on their calendars.

Brandon Graham, who is on the physically unable to perform list, said Wednesday that he expects to play against Dallas. That's when the second-year defensive end would first be eligible to come off of the PUP list.

"I'm very confident I'll be ready and I'll be playing Dallas," Graham said.

The Eagles' 2010 No. 1 draft pick is trying to come back from the knee injury he suffered last December against the Cowboys. Graham tore his anterior cruciate ligament and required surgery to fix the tear and underwent a microfracture procedure.

"It's not set in stone, but I'm not trying to go on" injured reserve, Graham said about a Game 7 return.

If the Eagles eventually decide to place Graham on IR his season would be officially over. They may not need to rush his rehabilitation the way the defensive line - in particular the ends - has performed in the preseason and in the regular-season opener, when they sacked Rams quarterbacks five times.

"In five more weeks we'll know for sure," Graham said. "Right now I'm feeling real good, and just when Week 7 comes we'll really know what's going on."

Vick on the blitz

For his second return to Atlanta as an Eagle - but first as a starter - Michael Vick said that he isn't sure what kind of reception he will receive from Falcons fans.

But the former Falcon said he had a pretty good idea how the Atlanta defense will welcome him back to the Georgia Dome.

"I'm expecting the blitz," Vick said. "That's what we're preparing and practicing for. I expect to see that until . . . the fifth or sixth game of the season. Teams think that's the way to get after us, but we have so many weapons and so many ways to counter that, how much can you do?"

Vick was blitzed by St. Louis about 40 percent of the time on Sunday. All three of the Rams' sacks came when they sent an extra rusher. Vick had OK success passing out of the blitz, but chose to run a number of times instead - often picking up large chunks of ground.

He doesn't anticipate running as much as the season progresses and his legs and body tire.

"Trust me, we all know that I only give you two or three games of the year like that, and that just happened to be in the first week of the season," Vick said. "I know what I have to do. . . . Sometimes, you get out there and your killer instincts just kick in. Tell you what, I won't drink any energy drinks before the game."

Extra points

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie sprained his ankle during conditioning and sat out Wednesday's practice. He said he expects to play Sunday. If he can't go, Joselio Hanson will play the nickel. Defensive end Darryl Tapp (pectoral sprain) and quarterback Vince Young (hamstring strain) were also held out of practice. Linebacker Akeem Jordan (shoulder) was limited. . . . Coach Andy Reid was asked if Winston Justice, once he's fully recovered from February arthroscopic knee surgery, would take back the starting right tackle spot from Todd Herremans. "Right now it's Herremans' spot to play," Reid said. Justice is on the active roster but did not dress against the Rams. "Do I want to start? Of course, everyone wants to start in the NFL," Justice said. "I think I want to be healthy, too." . . . Dion Lewis said that he shouldn't have returned the first of two kick returns that he took from deep in the end zone on Sunday. The rookie running back returned the first kick to the St. Louis 12 and the other to the 13. "I wasn't overanxious," Lewis said, "it was the first time I did it."


Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745, jmclane@phillynews.com, or @Jeff_McLane on Twitter.

 

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