Saturday, September 29, 2018 9:25 PM America
It’s a story by ESPN about a young kid from Delaware, his passion for football, his love of the Philadelphia Eagles and Carson Wentz, his battle with cancer, and what his bond with a certain quarterback meant to both of them.
Lukas was known as “The Dutch Destroyer” because of his wildly impressive performance on the football field. He was diagnosed with cancer in April of 2016 at 8 years old and went on the fight of his life against it.
During his fight with cancer, the quarterback of the Eagles, Carson Wentz learned about Lukas’ illness. Wentz and his teammates decided to create a video to send it to Lukas in the hospital, wishing him well.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation got involved and asked Lukas if there was anything he most wanted to do, and the youngster’s response was that he simply wanted to thank Carson. Lukas got the opportunity to spend the day at the Eagles’ facility with Carson and he got to do just that, giving Wentz one of his Dutch Destroyer bracelets in the process. Lukas lost his battle with cancer and was buried in his Wentz jersey. During a day spent together at the Eagles facility, Lukas gave Wentz a "Dutch Destroyer" wristband as a token of appreciation. So moved by his time with the boy, Wentz has not taken the bracelet off, even wearing it on game days.
Lukas' story spurred Max's family into action. The Dutch Destroyer piece aired Oct. 23, before the Eagles' Monday Night Football game against the Washington Redskins. On Oct. 30, Max was diagnosed with leukemia.
“A couple months ago, he was bald, no eyebrows, nothing. That was the hardest part for me.And when we would go out in public, a couple kids had pointed out he had no hair and stuff. Things like that break your heart as a parent. No one wants their kid to be the oddball."said by Max’mom.
During this time, Wentz sent Max a signed ball, as he had for Lukas before him. It read: "Max, Best wishes. Keep the faith and God bless!" After 30 days, the Shotts received amazing news: Max was in remission. Because of the early detection, he had lost significantly less bone marrow than in many cases.
Max is not out of the woods yet. He is still gets chemotherapy through a port in his rib cage and in pill form, and will continue the treatment through January 2021. But the odds for full recovery are in his favor. Some semblance of normalcy is setting back in. Max was just cleared to go back to pre-K and is loving school.
“It was cool. Seeing Max on the field was the best part, especially hearing how they said how sick he was and how he was struggling," Wentz said. "I’m looking at this kid just running around, it’s 100 degrees out and he’s having the time of his life, doesn’t want to go in, doesn’t want to stop playing catch or kicking the ball, just to know how quick of a turnaround he made and how it really impacted him because they saw the story.
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 11:12 AM America
Brian Dawkins felt empowered speaking about his fight with depression and suicidal thoughts during his Hall of Fame speech in August.
During his 22-minute speech at the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony on August 4th, defensive back Brian Dawkins spent a portion of that time talking about his battles with depression and suicidal thoughts during his NFL career . A courageous topic to talk about in front of an audience of that size, Dawkins felt comfortable speaking on it.
A hometown hero returned Monday to Jacksonville to deliver a powerful message at his old stomping grounds. Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins visited Raines High School and spoke to an auditorium full of students.
Dawkins told students at his alma mater that they need to keep their dreams in mind, despite the chaos around them. A 19-year-old was fatally shot and two other teens were wounded by gunfire outside the Raines football stadium after a game last month.
Dawkins, who graduated from Raines in 1992, can relate to the current students at the school, even when it comes to the violence they've seen. Dawkins got personal with the students Monday, sharing his experience with gun violence and depression.
"That's something that I've witnessed firsthand -- even here at Raines. When I was here, I lost a classmate after a game. He was killed, so it's not something that's foreign to me,” Dawkins said.
But Dawkins said he came back to remind the students not to give up. “The thing that I hope they realize is how much is out there for them -- there's so much out there for them," he said.
Raines football players said Dawkins' success and message gives them hope for the future. "It was very inspirational. It was nice for him to come back to talk to us and give his opinions on certain things he went through and how he overcame them,” Raines running back Brandon Marshall said.
Dawkins spoke about how he separated himself from negative influences and kept pushing to accomplish his goals. He said it will take a community effort to support Jacksonville's youth and lead them to success.
"Passion and having anger about a situation is one thing, but it's hard to get things done when you're operating only on anger,” Dawkins said. "Begin to look out for No. 1. You, yes, but also other people around you. Begin to treat people a different way, treat others the way you'd have them treat you. Be respectful when it's all said and done and then dream huge dreams.”
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 10:55 AM America
The very much talented and gifted Zach Ertz was born in the year 1990, on November 10, he is young and dynamic and just 25 years of his age. He is a professional player of American football, he is an American football tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, this player was drafted by the Eagles in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, he was very attacking and dangerous when he was in the field, he always creates obstacles for his opponents, Orange, California, United States is his birth place, he is an American by his nationality and his ethnicity is white.He is married to professional soccer player Julie Johnston Ertz, starting defensive midfielder for the U.S. Women's National Team and for the Chicago Red Stars; they met in 2012 at a Stanford baseball game. On February 26, 2016, Ertz proposed to Johnston at Klein Field, the Stanford University baseball stadium where they first met. They married on March 26, 2017, in Goleta, California.The Eagles signed Zach Ertz to a 5 year contract extension worth $42.5 million on January 25, 2016. All information is per a report from Joel Corry detailing the contract. According to Corry Ertz will receive an $8 million signing bonus and $13.187 million fully guaranteed upon signing. The contract contains $20 million in total guarantees. Ertz can earn an additional $3.3 million in incentives for being selected to the Pro Bowl.
Ertz converted $7.21 million of his 2018 base salary to a signing bonus, creating $5.407 million in cap room for the Eagles in 2018. His future cap charges will all increase by about $1.8 million.
On March 10, 2017, Ertz converted $3.225 million of his salary to a bonus. This created $2.58 million in cap space for the Eagles in 2017 and added $645,000 to each remaining season under contract.Additional $2M of 2018 salary fully guarantees on March 16,2018.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 2:57 PM America
Head coach Doug Pederson suggested Friday that Ajayi could take on a heavier workload in future weeks, Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com reports.
Ajayi had a tremendous 2016 season with the Dolphins, rushing for a career-high 1,272 yards and eight touchdowns. He was also one of the main catalysts in leading Miami to the playoffs that season while showing the NFL he could potentially be a feature back.
That was not the case last season as Ajayi struggled through the first eight games. He only accumulated 465 rushing yards and averaged a disappointing 3.4 yards per carry.
But when he switched conferences last October, the former first-round had a resurgence with the Eagles in their running back by committee system. After Jay Ajayi got just three carries in the first half of Thursday's 18-12 win over the Falcons, the Eagles finally started to hand him the rock in the second half. It worked.
Ajayi finished with 15 carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles got a W. The Eagles simply need to make a more concerted effort to get him involved earlier. Because while Darren Sproles and Corey Clement are going to be big parts of this offense, Ajayi is the best running back on the squad. Even if he isn't completely healthy.
Ajayi missed practice for the couple weeks before the season opener and gradually returned to practice this week. He thinks that's why he wasn't used heavily early Thursday night.
"Obviously, not playing, practicing for a couple weeks, you don't ever want to throw someone in the fire right away," Ajayi said. "Obviously, that was the way the coaches set up the game plan. As running backs, we go when our number's called. Me, I just stay ready, stay focused.
"I was very hungry tonight. Even though I don't feel 100, I wanted to be out there and help us keep moving forward and do what I can to help the offense." The running back by committee carried Philadelphia throughout last season and it can do the same thing for them this season. Nevertheless, Ajayi is already proving that the Eagles need to continue to feed him the ball.
Monday, September 10, 2018 4:14 PM America
In the Eagles' 18-12 victory over the Falcons on Thursday night, Nelson Agholor hauled in eight of 10 targets for 33 yards in the Eagles' 18-12 win over the Falcons on Thursday. He also completed his sole pass attempt for 15 yards to quarterback Nick Foles and rushed once for 16 yards.
He lined up as an outside wide receiver. He lined up as a slot receiver. He was everywhere and indispensable, and if you know anything about Nelson Agholor's career with the Eagles, you know how ridiculous such an assertion once would have been.
Agholor finished with eight catches for 33 yards, the fewest yards gained for a wide receiver who had at least eight catches in a game since Washington’s Brandon Banks in 2012. To catch eight passes and finish with 33 yards is almost unheard of in the NFL, and when it does happen it’s usually a running back who catches a lot of dump-off passes. For a wide receiver to do it is something you hardly ever see.
"I have been really impressed with Nelson and his work ethic and his drive and his motivation to really excel, not only at this level but also with his craft, being a skilled receiver," Pederson said. "It was evident [Thursday] that our confidence in him, my confidence in him, is extremely high. We move inside and outside now and find unique ways to get him the football. He's very explosive with the ball in his hand. My hat's off to him, the way he's worked the last couple of seasons to get himself in this position."
So it was an unusual night for Agholor on Thursday, in more ways than one.
Thursday, September 06, 2018 3:08 PM America
It's a crazy story, but in an NFL world filled with injuries, roster turnover and waiver claims, it's not an unusual story.
In a corresponding move, the Eagles placed tight end Richard Rodgers on injured reserve. Rodgers would be eligible to return after eight weeks if he's deemed healthy and the Eagles decide to use one of their two IR-return options on the TE.
Wheaton missed the Eagles' first three preseason games while dealing with a hamstring injury. The former Steelers and Bears receiver played 16 snaps in the Eagles' final preseason game and did not catch the only target thrown his way. He caught just three passes for 51 yards in 11 games in Chicago last season.
Both Alshon Jeffery and Mack Hollins will be sidelined in the team’s regular-season opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. While Jeffery has been expected to miss some time for a while, Hollins’ aggravation of an ongoing groin injury came as a surprise.
“We needed to have some depth at the receiver position. Markus has been here all offseason, all training camp. It’s a good fit for us,” said Eagles head coach Doug Pederson to NBC Sports.
Re-signing Wheaton could be an indication that Mack Hollins' groin injury could curtail the start to his season. Eagles coach Doug Pederson confirmed on Tuesday that Hollins will not play Thursday and that the injury is not related to the sports hernia surgery he underwent this offseason.
Tuesday, September 04, 2018 2:46 PM America
Eagles officially announce that Nick Foles will start against the Falcons.
Nick Foles will be under center when the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles host the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. Coach Doug Pederson made the announcement on Monday, one day after a testy exchange with reporters in which he insisted he wanted to wait before ruling out Carson Wentz.
"After consideration and everything and about the football team and this decision, Nick Foles is the starter Week 1," he said. "My press conference will be tomorrow, and I'll answer questions at that time. But I wanted you to hear it from me. It is about the football team and the best interests of the 53. And Nick Foles will be my starter Week 1. Thank you."
"In the best interest of everything about the football team and this decision, Nick Foles is the starter Week 1," said Pederson, who wasn't scheduled to speak to the media and plans to answer questions at his regular news conference on Tuesday.
Foles was spectacular in the playoffs and helped Philadelphia defeat New England 41-33 to win the franchise's first NFL title since 1960.
"We've had a lot of success with Nick," offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. "We've got a lot of confidence and faith in Nick and the way that he's going to play and the way that guys are going to play with him."
Pederson did confirm that quarterback Carson Wentz has not yet been cleared for contact. Wentz, the former No. 2 pick out of North Dakota State, has looked increasingly like his old self in recent weeks, ESPN reports. His mobility is returning, and his throwing velocity is up compared to last year. He has been splitting first-team reps with Foles during practice of late.
He is still on the early side of a traditional timetable for return from this type of injury, however. ACL tears typically take nine to 12 months to recover. The Atlanta game comes a few days shy of that nine-month mark. Wentz tore his LCL as well, which delayed the rehab process and made for a more complicated surgery and recovery.
Thursday, August 30, 2018 3:31 PM America
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will reportedly miss at least the first two games of the regular season as he continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen,as he continues to rehab from February shoulder surgery he underwent shortly after helping the Eagles defeat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII.
Jeffery, who was acquired last offseason, is expected to be activated to the 53-man roster this weekend and he will then be able to work on the field with the team. Coach Doug Pederson was asked about Jeffery's status on Tuesday.
"Well, first of all, he's doing well in his rehab," he told reporters, via NBCSports.com. "He's working well in his rehab. He's progressed up to about 75 throws per day and really doing a nice job with that. We're just going to continue to monitor that with him. We'll see where he's at next week and make a decision. Right now, he's progressing well and we'll just have to see. He's day by day."Alshon Jeffery Jersey .
The good news for the Eagles is that Jeffery will avoid being placed on the physically unable to perform list, which would have cost him the first six games of the season. But the Eagles might be in trouble without him at least the first two games of the regular season.
Even when Jeffery wasn’t putting up huge numbers last season, he was still clearly the Eagles’ No. 1 receiver. If Jeffery wasn’t making catches, he at least demanded attention. And despite tearing his rotator cuff — that’s what eventually needed the surgery that will keep him out to start this season — Jeffery managed to play all 19 games last season on the way to a parade down Broad Street. Without their top receiver for a couple weeks, the Eagles are going to have to rely on a group of receivers that has suspect depth.
Thursday, August 23, 2018 5:05 PM America
Dallas Goedert, TE, second round: Goedert has been one of the real bright spots of camp. He has made the transition well from South Dakota State to this point, showing off the athleticism and playmaking ability that drew the Eagles to him. His body type and movement are so similar to Zach Ertz's, it's hard to tell them apart on the field. Goedert should see playing time immediately.
Goedert had four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles in their preseason opener Thursday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Goedert had the second-most catches and yards amongst NFL rookies on the night and was tied for first in touchdowns. Via Pro Football Focus, Goedert had 4.13 yards per route run, which was fourth-best amongst tight ends around the NFL.
Catching passes were not the only highlights of Goedert's night. Early in the first quarter, Goedert set up the block that paved the way for Jay Ajayi's 22-yard run, one which got the Eagles out from deep in their own territory. Those are the plays that won't make the highlight reel, but ones that stand out to Pederson more than any catch. Dallas Goedert wants to show the NFL, the Eagles and fans around the league that he belongs on the biggest stage with the best players.
“He’s been so dominant,” Goedert said of Gronkowski. “Nobody can dog him. He’s great in the run game. He’s been the best tight end in the league, or one of the best for the last how many ever years. I might tag along if some of the other tight ends go talk to him. It would be pretty cool to talk to him.”
Goedert now hopes he can continue to grow on Eagles fan, awkward first name and all. “I hope that if I play well enough they’ll accept me a little bit more,” Goedert said. “There’s still a few people (who want him to change his name). But a lot of them have gone away from it.”
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 11:27 AM America
Brandon Graham is back to work in Philadelphia. After starting the summer on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, Graham was activated on Monday. The defensive end is now working to get his conditioning back in time to be ready for the Eagles regular season opener. In recent weeks, Graham has been spotted working with trainers on side fields, but now he'll get a chance to join his teammates as they begin to gear up for Week 1.
Graham, 30, had surgery this offseason to help heal a high ankle sprain he suffered on Christmas night against the Raiders. Yes, that's right, he made the biggest play in Eagles history - the strip sack on Tom Brady - with an ankle injury that eventually needed surgery.Even if Graham is ready to play on opening night, he acknowledged there may be more wounds on his body until he has completed his recovery.
"I'm going to be so sore when I do start hitting people," said Graham. "You've got to work through that soreness like we always do and eventually, that starts to become your armor. You continue to keep building on that. I'm just ready for that day of soreness so I can feel good about it and be back in it."
The 30-year-old Graham, who enters the final year of his contract, was one of many standouts in the Eagles' 41-33 Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots. Graham notched two tackles, a sack and two quarterback hits in the title-clinching victory.
Graham will likely sit out Thursday's preseason game in Cleveland and will not play in the fourth preseason game in which all of the top players are expected to rest. Graham believes he would still be able to be ready for the regular season without preseason play, but Graham understands he may not know about his status until early September. Meanwhile, Graham was happy to take a huge step forward on Monday after playing the role of spectator.
"I'm just excited to be back out there with the boys," Graham said."Being on the sidelines sometimes, you can reflect and kind of see what you need to see. I'm happy that I'm back."