Ronald Darby vowed Wednesday to return within the four-to-six-week framework specified earlier this week by a source with knowledge of the situation, for Darby's right ankle dislocation, suffered in the Eagles' 30-17 season-opening victory Sunday at Washington.
Darby, the Eagles' top cornerback, said he tripped over the ankle of Redskins tight end Jordan Reed early in the second quarter "and then I just came down wrong."
Darby, traded to the Eagles from the Bills Aug. 11, is from Oxon Hill, Md., not far from FedEx Field in Landover. He said he had friends and family at the game, watching his Eagles debut. They didn't expect to see him leave the field on a cart.
"They were worried about me, but everyone's happy that it wasn't that serious, and I'm going to be back," Darby said. He rolled through the locker room with his right knee resting on a scooter-type cart, his lower leg braced.
Earlier Wednesday, coach Doug Pederson said the team was "waiting on some more information" before updating Darby's status. A source with knowledge of the situation said that although the Eagles' medical staff has spoken with Dr. Robert Anderson, the specialist they asked for a second opinion, as of Wednesday evening Anderson still hadn't gotten back to them with his thoughts on Darby's MRI. The source has said the Eagles believe there is minimal ligament damage, and there is no reason to think Anderson will see it differently. Darby said he will not have to undergo surgery.
Here's the kicker
Jake Elliott, consigned to the Cincinnati Bengals' practice squad after losing a training-camp competition to Randy Bullock, came in from Bengals practice Tuesday to learn he was about to become an Eagle, Elliott said Wednesday.
The Bengals drafted Elliott, a rookie from Memphis, in the fifth round, but decided after a preseason competition to go with Bullock, at least temporarily. Keeping Elliott on the practice squad – a rare move with a kicker – implied that he might eventually win the job. But practice-squad players can be signed to the active rosters of other teams, and the Birds reached for Elliott after Caleb Sturgis tore a hip flexor in Sunday's opener at Washington.
The Eagles tried out a few kickers Tuesday. They could not try out Elliott, under NFL practice-squad rules, so they apparently signed him off their pre-draft assessment and what they saw in the preseason.
Sturgis confirmed Wednesday that he injured himself on the opening kickoff. He later missed an extra point but hit 50-, 42-, and 37-yard field goals. "It didn't hurt as much kicking field goals," he said.
The kickoff motion is more violent, and by the fourth quarter, Sturgis was limping visibly. The Eagles went for a two-point conversion after Fletcher Cox's clinching touchdown, so that Sturgis wouldn't have to kick again.
Sturgis is on injured reserve, but if the Eagles want him to return this season and are willing to use one of two spots they can designate for that purpose, he can practice starting with the Eagles' bye week, which starts Nov. 6, and play at Dallas Nov. 19. But it's possible that if Elliott does a good job, they'll just keep Sturgis on IR.
"I don't know any of those details," Elliott said. "I'm just here, willing to take any opportunity I can get."
Hoping Dorenbos snaps back
Doug Pederson opened his news conference with "a shout-out to Jon Dorenbos." Pederson said "everything went well" Tuesday with Dorenbos' surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to repair an aortic aneurysm.
Dorenbos, traded to the Saints last month, underwent an echocardiogram as part of a follow-up to his entry physical in New Orleans. A source said the Eagles had planned such a procedure for the 37-year-old long snapper before the trade, but it never took place. The Eagles have returned the 2019 seventh-round pick they received in the trade.