Eagles Notebook: DeVonta Smith, D'Andre Swift and Darius Slay all practice fully

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Eagles Notebook: DeVonta Smith, D

PHILADELPHIA — Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith, running back D’Andre Swift and cornerback Darius Slay practiced in shoulder pads Thursday after sitting out the previous week.

That is extremely positive news for the Eagles as they prepare to trek to Tampa for a Monday night wild card game with the Buccaneers.

Held out of practice were wide receiver A.J. Brown (knee) and safety Reed Blankenship (groin).

Quarterback Jalen Hurts, who injured the middle finger on his throwing hand, and wide receiver/returner Britain Covey (groin) were both limited.

Hurts’ finger looked was facing the wrong way after he banged it off a defender in the first half against the Giants last week.

“Obviously, leaving that game and attempting to go back into that game probably wasn’t physically the best idea,” Hurts said. “Everything is progressing in the right way.”

Hurts had fun when asked what was the bigger challenge, throwing or handing off, when he returned to the game last Sunday.

“I think everything is a challenge when you have a finger out of place,” he said.

Smith won the Heisman Trophy and sparked Alabama to a national championship in his senior year with the Crimson Tide. So, it was with great sadness that he received the recent retirement of Tide head coach Nick Saban.

Smith’s “Saban moment” came while he was catching seven passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns from Mac Jones to spark ‘Bama to a 31-14 blowout of Notre Dame in the CFP semifinals in 2021. It wasn’t enough to appease the star of the Aflac Insurance commercials.

“I didn’t field a punt inside the 5,” Smith said Thursday. “And he just went and cursed me out. I knew it was coming. I knew I should have caught the ball. I was expecting it.”

Smith took the tough love affectionately. He will miss Saban. Ditto Hurts, despite being benched in a national title game for Tua Tagovailoa.

“Obviously, I think it’s a sad day in the game of football, just knowing how much he’s been to the game,” Hurts said. “It’s surreal. I know for me personally he’s always been coaching ever since I’ve been alive. I committed to go to that university because of the man he was and the intentions that he had and the way he went about his business and his process. And so, I have a ton of respect for him. He’ll definitely be missed in the game. But I know he’ll be enjoying himself and he’ll be out there watching.”

Smith was the 86th winner of the Heisman Trophy, the first wide receiver to win it since Desmond Howard in 1991. Smith was the first player other than a quarterback or running back to win the Heisman since defensive back Charles Woodson in 1997. Soon after the Heisman, Smith caught 12 passes for 215 yards and three scores from Jones in Alabama’s 52-24 romp over Ohio State in the national championship game.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni decided to go with the padded practice to closely simulate the game tempo.

The Eagles last worked in pads early in the week when they played the Seahawks on Monday night, four games ago. They lost to the Seahawks and went 1-2 in their next three starts.

Eagles veteran Brandon Graham likened it to last year when the Birds did so after their bye to get ready for the divisional playoff with the Giants.

“It’s just like a whole refocus,” Graham said. “With the pads on you see everything at a fast pace. I’m excited for it. Nobody’s really crying about it or anything like that. We’re just getting some more reps with the pads on.”

Eagles Notebook: DeVonta Smith, D

China Water Jet Interlining Factories The Eagles are 3-point favorites over the Bucs, whom they defeated, 25-11, earlier this season at Raymond James Stadium.