A case of deja vu

Corner­back short­age nearly iden­ti­cal to last sea­son’s sce­nario

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - Morn­ing Call re­porter Nick Fierro can be reached at 610-778-2243 or [email protected]

PHILADEL­PHIA – His face and his words pro­jected noth­ing but one pur­pose.

Corner­back Or­lando Scan­drick, in his 12th NFL sea­son, wasn’t minc­ing words on Mon­day, three days af­ter the Ea­gles brought him back to help with their in­jury cri­sis at his po­si­tion. Scan­drick could go from not mak­ing the team com­ing out of train­ing camp to play­ing most or all of the de­fen­sive snaps in next Sun­day’s game against the New York Jets.

“At this stage in my ca­reer, the sit­u­a­tion has to be right,” he said. “I’m not just play­ing to play. I played a lot of years, I made a lot of money and the sit­u­a­tion has to be right. I’m not in the busi­ness of los­ing, I’m not in the busi­ness of try­ing to re­build some­thing. I’m also not in the busi­ness of try­ing to be a teacher and a men­tor.

“So at this stage of my ca­reer, I feel like, you know, if I’m go­ing to take the time to be away from my chil­dren and my fam­ily, it’s got to be worth it.”

Con­versely, the Ea­gles des­per­ately need to get their money’s worth as well from the long­time Dal­las Cow­boy who spent last sea­son with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Scan­drick ac­tu­ally still seemed a lit­tle salty about not be­ing brought back for their Week 2 game at Atlanta, when they pro­moted fel­low corner­back Craig James from their prac­tice squad in­stead. James was back on the prac­tice squad for Week 3 but then back on the ac­tive ros­ter for last Thurs­day’s 34-27 win at Green Bay, which he helped pre­serve in the clos­ing se­conds with a pass breakup that team­mate Nigel Brad­ham in­ter­cepted in the end zone.

James was in the game only be­cause Sid­ney Jones (ham­string) and Avonte Mad­dox (con­cus­sion and neck) were forced to leave it ear­lier. They re­main out in­def­i­nitely along with Ron­ald Darby (ham­string). In the mean­time, Jalen Mills (foot) and Cre’Von LeBlanc (foot) re­main on the PUP and in­jured re­serve lists, re­spec­tively.

Mad­dox is ex­pected to miss at least next Sun­day’s game against the Jets, ac­cord­ing to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

Fri­day’s move, which was ac­com­pa­nied by the team adding corner­back D.J. White to the prac­tice squad, has Scan­drick join­ing James and Ra­sul Dou­glas as the only healthy cor­ners on

the ac­tive ros­ter.

This is an al­most iden­ti­cal sit­u­a­tion to what they faced through­out last sea­son, with one corner­back af­ter an­other go­ing down.

“I had an op­por­tu­nity to come back [for] Week 2,” Scan­drick said. “It didn’t re­ally work out. There was a lit­tle bit of mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion on both sides … but spoke to [gen­eral man­ager] Howie [Rose­man] on Fri­day. He told me they want me back and, you know, I was miss­ing it.”

Scan­drick, 32, said he had a chance to go “sev­eral other places” but held out hope that he would get the call to re­turn to the Ea­gles be­cause he knows the sys­tem and knows how good the team is and how re­turn­ing to Philadel­phia would give him his best chance at a Su­per Bowl ring be­fore he rides off into the sun­set.

Be­sides, he made bonds while he was here and also has a life­long friend on the squad in wide re­ceiver DeSean Jack­son. Both are from Los An­ge­les and en­tered the NFL at the same time (2008).

“[Jack­son] played a huge, huge role in the fact that I was will­ing to come back and play,” Scan­drick said.

What he’s back to is any­one’s guess. The unit has been wrecked, at least tem­po­rar­ily, by in­juries.

But all the coaches can do is blink and carry on.

“I have said this a mil­lion times, I sound like a bro­ken record,” de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Jim Schwartz re­peated on Mon­day, “it’s just our job in the NFL. I don’t think we can look at any­thing as hold­ing us back. It’s our job to go out each week and find a way to win the game. It just is what it is.”

Added de­fen­sive backs coach Cory Undlin: “Guys go down, it’s part of the game. Ob­vi­ously we don’t wish that upon any­body. But the way the game is played, stuff hap­pens and the next guy steps up.”

Get­ting Scan­drick back should help be­cause of his ex­pe­ri­ence.

Undlin raved about how they were able to throw him into Mon­day’s prac­tice with­out even hav­ing him in the meet­ing be­fore­hand.

Schwartz also talked about how ready Scan­drick is to plug in and play.

“He was in train­ing camp,” Schwartz said. “He knows our sys­tem. That’s one of the rea­sons we brought him back. It’s one of the rea­sons we had him in train­ing camp. So we would ex­pect him to be up to speed if he’s called upon. There’s not go­ing to be any start-up time for him.”

For a team that’s still dan­ger­ously short at corner­back, that has to be some com­fort.

Ros­ter move: The Ea­gles on Mon­day traded safety Johnathan Cy­prien and a 2020 7thround draft pick to Atlanta for line­backer Duke Riley and a sixth-round pick.

Riley was a third-round pick of the Fal­cons in 2017. He’s played in 32 games, start­ing 16, with 84 tack­les and two passes de­fended.

PHE­LAN M. EBEN­HACK/AP

Fol­low­ing a spate of in­juries, the Ea­gles brought back Or­lando Scan­drick, left, seen in a pre­sea­son game on Aug. 15. He was re­leased dur­ing fi­nal ros­ter cuts.

Nick Fierro

MIKE ROEMER/AP

Ea­gles safety An­drew Sen­dejo knocked team­mate Avonte Mad­dox from last Thurs­day’s win over the Pack­ers af­ter a col­li­sion.

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