Wolff works out
Earl Wolff returned to practice Thursday for the team's walk-through, which typically takes place two days before the game. That practice has not necessarily signaled that a player would play in the game, but Wolff was encouraged by the way his right knee felt after his post-practice workout and is still confident that he can play Saturday against the New Orleans Saints.
Wolff practiced outside after the team's walk-through and tried football activity - "basically, what I'd go through in a game" is how Wolff described it.
The decision to play Saturday is not his to make. Wolff said the training staff would evaluate how he did Thursday. Wolff added that he must see how his body responds Friday, when the Eagles practice again. There are also pregame drills on Saturday that could be important.
"All I know is it felt a lot better today than it did before," Wolff said. "They recorded me moving around a little bit, doing functional stuff."
Wolff missed Tuesday and Wednesday practices. Coach Chip Kelly said Wednesday that Wolff must practice in order to play. Wolff said his absence during the first two days was the training staff's decision. It appears to be the opposite approach of one week ago, when Wolff practiced during the week but was not able to play in Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Wolff has missed five of the last six games with a right-knee injury. He suffered the injury Nov. 10 and reinjured it Dec. 22.
The Eagles have struggled at safety and could use Wolff back in the lineup. Kurt Coleman has split practice snaps with Patrick Chung this week, and both could play on defense Saturday. Even if Wolff is in the lineup, the Eagles must see if he can return to his pre-injury form. But simply being activated for the game remains a question.
"It's not my call. It's their call," Wolff said. "I feel good today, but it's up to them."
Offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde continued to miss practice with a back injury. He appears unlikely to play. Matt Tobin was active last week in his place. Vandervelde is center Jason Kelce's backup, but guard Evan Mathis can shift to center if something happens to Kelce.