Joseph Kaczmarek/Associated Press
The Eagles probably wouldn’t mind if Earl Wolff would defeat Nate Allen in their battle for the starting safety job opposite Jenkins. While Allen was serviceable last season, if that was his ceiling, the club can do better.
Yet soon after the coaches started rotating Wolff in with the first-team defense last week at practice, suddenly he was unavailable. Knee soreness kept the 2013 fifth-round pick out of workouts last Thursday and Friday, making those missed opportunities to pull ahead of his competition.
And before you jump all over me for giving an injured player a hard time, prior to Wolff’s return on Sunday, Chip Kelly told the assembled media, “It’s his call,” in reference to when the second-year safety could return.
It’s not really our place to judge Wolff’s physical condition from afar, but every rep is so vital right now if he intends to unseat Allen. When Wolff was trying to return from a knee injury in time for the playoffs last season, Kelly stressed he needs to practice in order to play, per Phil Sheridan of ESPN.
Wolff has been back practicing so far this week, although on Monday, both he and Nate Allen were working with the second-team defense, while Chris Maragos ran with the ones. Maragos has never started a game in his four-year NFL career.
Maybe it’s just me, but that seems like a not-so-subtle message directed at both Allen and Wolff.