"You're going to have those in training camp," linebacker Jamar Chaney said. "We have a lot of guys on the Eagles who've played for other teams and they say the way we do training camp isn't like it is at other training camps. When you're going live - especially how we talk, and how we take pride in defense to run to the ball and be very physical - it can take a toll on you."
Eleven players missed practice Friday because of injuries suffered since hitting started last Saturday. Babin (calf), Trent Cole (shoulder), and Todd Herremans (shoulder) were among the big names, but the list also included Hamler (hamstring), Brandon Washington (concussion), and Monte Taylor (concussion).
The hardest portion of training camp is the six-day stretch the Eagles are fighting through now. The collective-bargaining agreement mandates off days during camp. The first one was Tuesday. The second one will be next Tuesday. In between are six days of early-morning walk-throughs and afternoon practices under an August sun.
Reid moved the intense practice to the afternoon - before the CBA, the team had two-a-days - because he said it allows the players to have more food and fluids in their system. The number of injuries decreased this year, he said, attributing it to the change in structure. But it also forced practice into the most humid time of the day.
"Doing a good job getting themselves up, getting the meals in, getting the liquids in," Reid said. "Before they fall asleep in between practices, they're at least keeping the liquids in. So it's better numbers with the afternoon practices."
Coaches and players insisted camp is important for everybody, although it's more valuable for a rookie trying to make the team than an established veteran. The Eagles have 15 non-specialists who have at least six years of experience. Eight have missed at least one practice.
Evan Mathis' inner-ear infection could theoretically happen at any time of the year and Babin's calf injury will force him to miss some of the preseason, but most are minor muscle injuries that would not be a major issue during the season.
"You don't want it to be something that's long-term," said eight-year veteran safety O.J. Atogwe, who missed practice with a groin injury. "You get a lot of those nagging little muscles here in camp. And sometimes it's just you work so hard in the offseason, you work so hard pretraining to camp training, that you didn't take the time to strengthen some of the little muscles. Once they get fatigued in the camp, they kind of go."
During practice, the training staff wraps players' heads with a wet towel or cold skull cap. Players often file out of the locker room to their cars either wearing an ice pack somewhere or walking with a limp. Almost all of the players hold a bottle of Pedialyte, a drink that usually is used to replenish fluids in dehydrated children.
At least the Eagles know the end is approaching. The next off day will be Tuesday, the first preseason game will be Thursday, and then the schedule becomes less tiresome. At that point, the nagging injuries might be healed and the toughest part of training camp completed.
"Once you get through that Monday practice, it should be pretty good," Chaney said. "Like Andy said, you got to push through it. You got a few more days until the break."
Contact Zach Berman at email@example.com or follow on Twitter @ZBerm.