BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The Philadelphia Eagles got a key member back Friday, as starting defensive tackle Tim Jernigan returned to the practice field after being sidelined since late last week with an illness.
Jernigan is one of several players and coaches that has been battling a bug.
"I'm getting over it right now. It's like a cold, dude. I don't know. The whole team has it, though," said linebacker Mychal Kendricks on Thursday, who clarified that he didn't mean that literally everyone on the team is sick.
Cornerback Ronald Darby missed Thursday's media session with an illness but has practiced in full all week. Running back Jay Ajayi (ankle), defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (calf) and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) were also full participants.
The Eagles kept to their normal practice schedule this week and on Friday focused on red zone and short-yardage situations. The padless session lasted about an hour and a half. Coach Doug Pederson opted not to have his players in pads this week, wanting to keep them fresh this late in the year.
Afterward, Pederson stood near midfield, surrounded by his players, coaches and front office executives, and delivered a lengthy speech, according to the pool report.
"Play loose, have fun, enjoy the moment," he said, relaying his message. "These opportunities, as you know, don't come around every year. Also, make sure just to reflect on this season, reflect on the journey that got us here. But just play for one another, have fun and enjoy it."
Pederson's friend and former teammate, Brett Favre, is scheduled to speak with his players Saturday morning at the team hotel. That will be followed by a half-hour walkthrough at U.S. Bank Stadium, the site of Super Bowl LII. Preparations are nearly complete.
Eagles DT Tim Jernigan returns to practice after battling illness