Eagles' Mills hoping the waiting game will soon end

Ed Benkin
October 11, 2019 - 8:39 am
Jalen Mills

AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — For the second straight year, the Eagles' secondary has been hit hard by injuries. This time, Jalen Mills is hoping to be part of the solution.

A foot injury finished Mills' 2018 season early. He was not completely recovered during the off-season and was placed on the team's PUP list at the start of the season. Mills is eligible to begin practicing next week and is hoping to be ready for the Eagles' game at Dallas on Oct. 20.  

But for at least one more week, Mills must play the waiting game as his teammates prepare for their matchup with Minnesota on Sunday.

"As a true competitor, you want to be out there regardless of the circumstances," said Mills. "Especially coming from me, I want to be out there for sure."

Related: Analysis: The Eagles can beat the Vikings, but they'll have to earn it

The Eagles could certainly use Mills. Avonte Maddox is still recovering from a concussion and a neck injury. Ronald Darby has been sidelined with a hamstring issue. Sidney Jones was active last week but is also bothered by a hamstring problem. The injuries have left the Eagles with a host of inexperienced players forced to step in at cornerback. Mills is waiting to get cleared by the team's medical staff and is hoping he will finally be able to return and give the Eagles a defensive boost.

"They'll tell me what I can and cannot do," Mills said. "We're just sticking to the plan. They've had a great plan for me so far, and I feel good now. Whatever he says I can and can't do, I'm just going to follow."

The injury to Mills originally did not seem to be one which would last so long. However, it became clear at the start of the summer that Mills was still a long way from returning. A place on the PUP list gave Mills six extra weeks to recover and the cornerback understands he could not put himself in a situation to risk a relapse.

"It was something serious," said Mills. "It's not anything about getting better or worse. It was just a elongated injury. You just have to take your time with it. The training staff did a great job with me as far as my recovery and rehab. I'm running good. I'm planting and doing other things the way that I could before the injury."

Mills was dealing with his share of criticism before the injury. Such is the life of a cornerback in the NFL. Mills has always had a strong mind on the field, along with the ability to shake off any mistakes as quickly as possible. The injury is simply another hurdle for Mills to clear.

"I've dealt with adversity before," Mills said. "Not just from a football aspect, but my life in general. As far as that goes, I'm just keeping a strong mind and strong head. I've got great teammates and great coaches. They keep me into it as well."