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VIDEO: Timmy Jernigan returns to Eagles' practice

Eliot Shorr-Parks
November 07, 2018 - 2:17 pm

For the first time since Super Bowl LII, Eagles defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan was on the practice field Tuesday with a helmet on and with his teammates. 

Jernigan, between getting a hug from head coach Doug Pederson and dancing to the music being played, stretched and warmed up with his teammates as they began preparation for the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night. 

Here is video of Jernigan, No. 93, warming up before practice:

Jernigan still needs to be added to the 53-man roster before he can play, but when he does return, he should give a big boost to the Eagles' defensive line if he returns from his back injury the same player he was last season. 

"(Jernigan) was a big part of our success last year. He didn't rush a lot on third-down, had some in there, but he was a guy that could win a one-on-one away from (defensive tackle Fletcher Cox), which means an awful lot," Schwartz said. "And he's also a guy that's really stout against the run, but he also has a good enough lateral ability that he can make a sideline-to-sideline play and make some tackles for losses."

Now that Jernigan is back on the practice field, at least in some capacity, the process of getting him into game shape will begin. 

"He’s a lot like (cornerback) Sidney Jones was last year. He’s haunting the hallways. He's staying current with what we're doing. He couldn't participate in any walk-throughs in any fashion, but he's out there observing them all. He's in a different position than Sid was last year. Sid was a rookie that had never played. Timmy is a veteran player that's played a lot of football for us and for other people around the league," Schwartz said. "Once he's able to physically start feeling it and be able to get out doing drills with someone other than the trainer, all due respect to those guys, out with his teammates and out competing against the offensive guys, maybe run some scout-team cards, things like that, he'll start getting back in the flow of things. But to go in with any expectation I think doesn't do the right thing by him. We just sort of take it one day at a time and see where he is. When he's ready, we'll get him back out there."

Jones, however, didn't play until Week 17 last season. Part of that was due to need -- the Eagles didn't need Jones back out on the field. Things are much different this season. The Eagles are 4-4, fighting for a playoff spot and are very thin at defensive tackle. The pressure to rush Jernigan back will be there. It would be surprising if Jernigan wasn't back on the field by the time the Eagles take on the Giants in Week 12. 

The Eagles, however, appear to be doing their best to avoid that pressure and make sure they don't rush back Jernigan. 

"I don't have any. It’s going to be totally based on where he is," Schwartz said. "First day of training camp, first day of OTAs, all that is where he is. But you're also talking about a guy that's a veteran player, that has played a lot of football, that has been working extremely hard. Coming back from a major injury, but [we have to> get him up to speed, and his body will tell him, and that will guide us."

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