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EAGLES NOTEBOOK: Good Health and a Walkthrough

Plus, see what Darius Slay had to say about being named NFC Defensive Player of Week, how different Jalen Hurts is a year after making his first start vs. Saints, and more
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PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles were due for a season like this, weren’t they, one devoid of serious injury seemingly on a weekly basis like what’s gone around this team the last few seasons.

Maybe it was the shorter training camp practices.

Maybe the training staff has it all figured out.

Maybe it’s just the odds evening out.

Whatever it is, Nick Sirianni double-downed on Wednesday’s workout. The head coach adjusted the typical Wednesday routine, making the practice a walkthrough.

“We're later in the season,” he said. “We have a late bye. I want to take care of these guys' bodies and make sure they're ready to be 100 percent fresh on Sunday…we need to make sure we're getting better in the sense of let's make sure we're mentally ready to go here.

“Having what we call, you're going to the walk-through, you're full speed to the snap in walk-through. That means your mind is working, break the huddle in the same aspect, your mind is working full speed, boom, the snap happens, now we go to a walk-through.”

A walkthrough means the injury report was just an estimation, but this is what it looked like:

Did not practice: Fletcher Cox (resting), Dallas Goedert (concussion) Davion Taylor (knee).

Limited: Shaun Bradley (shoulder), Javon Hargrave (shoulder)m Rodney McLeod (knee), Lane Johnson, and Jason Kelce (resting players).

Full: Jordan Howard (ankle), DeVonta Smith (elbow).

LAST TIME

Jalen Hurts made his first career start on Dec. 13 last year against the New Orleans Saints, who had the top-ranked run defense at the time, allowing 55.8 yards per game on the ground, and once again, have the top-ranked run defense again this year, surrendering 72.9 yards per game.

It didn’t matter. 

Miles Sanders ran for 115 and Hurts ran for 106 yards, becoming the first backs to gain more than 100 yards in a game against the Saints since November of 2017 and the first Eagles duo to top 100 yards in the same game since LeSean McCoy (133) and Bryce Brown (115) in Week 16 of the 2013 season.

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Hurts may have caught the Saints off guard since it was his first career start.

He may do that again, though, because he isn’t the same player he was 14 starts ago.

“I think with a year’s time, I’ve just grown,” he said on Wednesday as the Eagles prepare to host the Saints on Sunday (1 p.m./FOX). “Been able to build better relationships with my team. Learn the city, learn everybody around here throughout the different changes that we’ve had.

“We’ve had a lot happen since my first start. I think I’ve overall grown. I’ve had to approach it just getting better every day, putting daily deposits in, just trying to grow. Grow as a player, grow as a leader, grow as a man.”

SLAY THOUGHTS

Eagles CB Darius Slay won the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award for his 83-yard fumble return for a touchdown that tilted the momentum in the Eagles’ 30-13 win over the Broncos on Sunday.

“It was a blessing to be on that list,” he said. “I think I should have won twice (when he intercepted Sam Darnold twice). I should have won in Carolina. But it’s OK. It’s all good. I appreciate being on that list. A lot of great guys on that list. I’ll just try to keep building from there.”

Slay, who earned the award three previous ties while with the Lions, was asked about adding punt returner duties to his resume.

“I’ve been asking to do that since I’ve been a rookie,” he said. “Coaches in Detroit didn’t believe I could do it. I can do it. I make stuff happen with the ball in my hands.”

MEA CULPA

Head coach Nick Sirianni said that he thought Boston Scott had a touchdown after a screen pass on the team’s first offensive possession of the game when the field opened wide on a second-and-12 throw from the 50. Instead, Scott had to settle for a 16-yard gain after running into Jordan Mailata, who only had to make one block and Scott may have been gone.

"Yeah I messed up, execution was bad,” said the LT on Wednesday. “We practice that play so many times and it was just a timing error on my part. We have different techniques in that play and I just took too long, the timing was off.

"And then when I realized how far Boston was downfield and he caught the ball I knew I was gonna mess it up and I tried to be in balance and ended up just screwing the play over."

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“We want to change that, yeah. Put my socks on different, I guess. We have to do something different. It’s very frustrating. I know the fans are frustrated about it, so we have to switch it up this week. I’ll put on different socks or maybe a different uniform. We have to change it up.” – Eagles RT Lane Johnson when asked about being 0-4 at home this season.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.