Two of the Philadelphia Eagles‘ biggest injury question marks entering this season are left tackle Jason Peters and safety Kenny Phillips, and on Tuesday, both were unable to practice at the team’s OTAs.
Peters, who is widely considered the top left tackle in the NFL and missed all of last season with a double ruptured Achilles tendon, was not in attendance, but head coach Chip Kelly confirmed his absence was not injury related.
“We know where Jason Peters is,” Kelly explained. “But we can’t elaborate on the details. He missed all of last week, too.”
The 31-year old missed last Monday’s workout because he was delayed traveling to Philadelphia following the tornadoes that struck Oklahoma.
A team spokesman declined to offer an explanation at the start of practice as to Peters’ whereabouts saying; “He just isn’t here.”
Kelly did go out of his way to point out that there are no excused or unexcused absences from these camps because the sessions are voluntary.
Meanwhile, Phillips, who was signed by the Eagles in the offseason, underwent microfracture surgery in 2009 on his right knee and missed nine games with an MCL sprain in his left knee last season, was at the Novacare Complex but unable to practice on Tuesday.
“Kenny was in the trainer’s room,” Kelly explained after practice. “I don’t know if he’s injured, or how severe, all I was told was that he wasn’t going to be able to go today.”
Phillips missing time this early in spring practices is a troubling sign for a player who has struggled to stay healthy in recent years. He signed a deal with the Eagles this offseason that pays him the veteran minimum with no guaranteed money.
One player who benefited from Phillips’ absence on Tuesday was the team’s fifth round draft choice, Earl Wolff who saw extended practice time.
“I’ve been getting some reps with the second and third groups so far,” Wolff said. “But with Kenny [Phillips] being down, it gave me some extra reps today.”
The Birds’ safety picture is a muddy one with veteran holdovers Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman fighting to retain their jobs with Patrick Chung, Phillips, Wolff and others. It will be interesting to note how the position battle plays out, especially if Phillips is sidelined for any extended period of time.
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*All Quotes obtained first hand.