PHILADELPHIA – Eagles star slot cornerback Avonte Maddox was back in a walking boot at Friday’s practice, although a team source said the plan is to be cautious with Maddox with the idea of having him on the field Feb. 12 in Super Bowl LVII against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Obviously, the bye week helps in that regard because Maddox was moving gingerly in the locker room after practice, an indication th2 19 snaps he played against San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game took their toll.
Maddox had been sidelined since injuring the toe at Dallas on Dec. 24 and missed the final two regular-season games as well as the divisional-round playoff win over the New York Giants. He was active and playing well against the 49ers, notching three tackles despite the low snap count.
The issue moving forward is that Jonathan Gannon will likely need Maddox more against the No. 1 ranked offense of the Kansas City Chiefs, which is much more explosive in the passing game than the run-heavy Niners, who lost quarterback Brock Purdy early in the NFCCG.
The good news is that the extra time allows for more treatment for Maddox and any aggravation to calm down. When he was last out of the lineup C.J. Gardner-Johnson played a dual role, handing his typical safety spot when the Eagles were using five-man fronts and then moving to the slot when Gannon wanted an extra defensive back on the field. In the latter instance, Reed Blankenship would fill in at safety.
Other practice developments on Friday included punter Arryn Siposs holding for placekicker Jake Elliott during the portion of practice open to reporters. Siposs remains on injured reserve but had his 21-day practice window opened on Thursday after suffering a torn deltoid ligament in his ankle during a Dec. 11 win over the New York Giants.
Brett Kern, who has been punting, was in the end zone shagging Elliott’s kicks.
The Eagles also continue to remain cautious with All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson as they continue to manage him through a torn adductor muscle in his groin that will require surgery after the Super Bowl.
“I feel better now than I did initially in the first game [against the Ginats],” said Johnson. “The first game was my biggest challenge. Obviously, the last game was a challenge in itself. But I feel like the first game, for me, personally, was harder. Because I wasn’t sure that I could play through it. But after the initial contact at first, in the first game, I was good. I had better confidence from the second drive on.’
Also not practicing on Friday were LG Landon Dickerson (elbow, resting player), C Cam Jurgens (hip, resting player), and DE Robert Quinn (foot, resting player).
Those given maintenance days and listed as limited were: CB James Bradberry (resting player), WR A.J. Brown (resting player), DT Fletcher Cox (resting player), DE Brandon Graham (resting player), C Jason Kelce (resting player), RG Isaac Seumalo (resting player), CB Darius Slay (resting player), and DE Josh Sweat (resting player).