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Eagles safety Nate Allen sits out practice

marc narducci inquirer

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:57 AM


Eagles safety Nate Allen sits out practice

Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2012, 1:32 AM

Eagles strong safety Nate Allen did not practice Friday after suffering a left hamstring injury during Thursday's workout.

Allen strained his right hamstring in the fourth quarter of a 26-23 overtime loss to the Detroit Lions on Oct. 14. After the bye week, he returned and played in Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons, recording nine tackles.

He said his right hamstring is fine.

"It is frustrating," he said of the latest setback, but "Monday is not out of the picture."

If Allen is not able to play against the New Orleans Saints, David Sims would start. Sims was acquired from Cleveland on Aug. 31 after spending the final five weeks of the 2011 season on the Browns' practice squad.

"Unfortunately, Nate got hurt, but I have to step in and fill the role," Sims said.

Other injuries

Receiver and return man Mardy Gilyard (hamstring) and guard Danny Watkins (ankle) were the only other players who did not practice on Friday.

Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (knee) returned to practice after sitting out Thursday.

Returning home

After being inactive for two weeks, Eagles rookie Damaris Johnson will return punts against the Saints in a place that is in his backyard. Johnson will replace Gilyard, who hurt his hamstring in the first quarter of the loss to Atlanta.

Johnson is from Destrehan, La., about 20 minutes from the Superdome. When Johnson was a senior at Destrehan High, his team won the state 5A title at the Superdome, beating Acadiana, 41-21. Johnson scored two touchdowns in that game.

"It means a lot to go home and play in front of friends and family," said Johnson, a rookie free-agent receiver out of Tulsa who has averaged 6 yards on eight punt returns this season.

Too cautious?

The Eagles did not commit a turnover last week - which was a positive sign, according to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

Yet Mornhinweg sensed a hesitancy that he would like to eliminate.

"I thought we were just a little bit too careful with our mentality, and it's just that simple," Mornhinweg said. "We've got to play loose and free, and we've talked about that."

It's the old theory about playing to win instead of playing not to lose.

"Just simply, [the Eagles have to be] unafraid to make a mistake," Mornhinweg said. "If we make one, we correct it."