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David Sims to start after Nate Allen hamstrung by injury

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:44 AM

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Eagles Scoop: David Sims to start after Nate Allen hamstrung by injury

Published: Saturday, November 03, 2012

By ROB PARENT
rparent@delcotimes.com; @ReluctantSE




PHILADELPHIA — The timing seemed right for Nate Allen. The Eagles safety was finally getting over his recently tugged left hamstring muscle, and seemed primed to face the Eagles’ biggest quarterback challenge of the season Monday night in Saints gunner Drew Brees.

But then Allen stepped into a two-minute drill Thursday, and apparently stepped the wrong way, emerging with a pulled right hamstring.

“Yeah,” Allen said Friday, “it’s the other one. Just a two-minute (drill) and I did a little something.”

For now, Allen is being replaced at strong safety by David Sims, who was acquired from the Cleveland Browns for a conditional draft pick just prior to the start of the season. Sims has been active every game but has only played special teams. In a way, then, the spotlight will be on him ... and to his great luck, one of the league’s foremost touchdown makers will be looking to throw the ball his way.

“He’s a great player,” Sims said of Brees, “but it’s all football. I’m just ready to go out and play. When you think about it, it’s still all football.”

While Sims is expected to start in place of Allen against the Saints, there is no guarantee Allen won’t be suited up on the sidelines at the Superdome.

“Nothing is finalized yet, you know?” Allen said. “We’re just going to take it day by day and see how it feels. ... Hammys can be real touchy, so yeah, we just have to take it day by day.

“What can you do about it? It is what it is. But like I said, Monday is not out of the picture yet.”



One player back at practice Friday and a go for Monday night is defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, who had been hampered by a hyperextended knee. Jenkins said one way to try to battle Brees’ effectiveness would be for the Eagles’ rushing efforts to not be hampered.

“He’s smart, a really smart guy,” Jenkins said of Brees. “He’s going to try to control the tempo, catch you off-guard and try to find any weaknesses he can. And we just have to be ready for it. We can’t let him just come out and beat us.”

At least Jenkins and the rest of the Eagles’ defense will have the luxury of not having to face one of Brees’ favorite targets, Saints running back Darren Sproles, who will miss the game after hand surgery.



While Andy Reid’s popularity and job security appear to be slipping by the day, a couple of Eagles sounded off in Reid’s defense Friday.

“Guys around the league want to come to Philly and play here because he’s such a great coach and it’s such a great organization,” veteran linebacker and first-year Eagle DeMeco Ryans said. “So you want to make things happen. We feel if we do our job everything will take care of itself.”

Added cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who came here in 2011 from the Arizona Cardinals in the Kevin Kolb trade: “I didn’t understand why I was traded, but the first thing I realized here was the history. I was coming to a winning organization. You can credit Andy Reid for that. Just looking at him as a coach ... I can appreciate everything he does.”



Rookie Demaris Johnson is back returning punts with Mardy Gilyard sidelined by a hamstring. Johnson will also be back Monday night in the familiar confines of the Superdome. That’s where Johnson scored two touchdowns as a senior wide receiver for Destrehan (La.) High School when the unbeaten Wildcats won a Class 5-A state championship in 2007.

“It was a great win for our community,” Johnson said. “It was great, man. We went in there with about 30,000 people supporting us and we went in as the highest Class 5-A team in the state and we got the win.”

Johnson said he’s just as excited making this return to Louisiana as a member of the Eagles, especially since he’s getting back into a regular role for the game.

“I’m real pumped now,” Johnson said. “I’m just going to go in and make plays and help our team win. Everybody wants to play, but like I said, I’ve been taking mental reps on the side and I have to go out and better my game. Every day I go out and envision I’m going to return a punt or return a kick (for a score). But in the National Football League, it’s been pretty hard on me. I just have to go out and execute.”