PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Earl Wolff can recite his history. There was the hamstring in eighth grade, a back muscle in ninth grade. There was tendonitis in 10th grade. Sophomore year in college he played the whole season with a torn shoulder. It seems as if something has happened to him every year he’s played football.
Wolff, the Eagles’ second-year strong safety who suffered a hyper-extended right knee last season against Green Bay on Nov. 10, returned to practice Sunday after sitting out last Thursday and Friday with some flare ups with a sore right knee.
“It’s not like I’m not used to playing hurt,” said Wolff, who was playing with the Eagles’ first team next to free safety Malcolm Jenkins at the Eagles’ open practice at Lincoln Financial Field. “I feel great today, I feel great now. I’m going to be fine. I know my body the best and I know what I can do and I know what I can’t do. If I can’t help my team as much as I think I can, I don’t need to be out there.
“After I got warm, I wanted to go out there and make plays. I feel a whole better know and I think it did [benefit him missing the two days of practice last week]. I don’t think this will be a [recurring thing]. My thing is, I need a full range of motion. I only know how to play one speed. I play full speed all of the time, and if I can’t play that game, than I really can’t play. I can’t stand missing practice, because I feel like whatever you do in practice you do in a game. That’s why I only play full speed in practice.”
Wolff played with the first team and it seems as if Wolff may have an edge over Nate Allen for the starting strong safety job. Wolff said he feels more confident after a year’s experience in Billy Davis’ defense. He’s seeing the field much better—and much slower.
“I feel [the caching staff] has a lot more confidence in me because I understand the defense and I understand each and every call, which allows me to be more confident, which allows me to be that faster, which allows me to play faster,” Wolff said. “Once [the coaching staff] sees that on film, they trust me.”
As for the knee, Wolff threw out the fact that “I haven’t been a 100-percent in the beginning of a season ever in my life. There’s always going to be something nagging, always going to be something there. When I really can’t move, I can’t go. But I feel great now. I feel really good. I trust the knee.”
Wolff said he’s on the same page with Jenkins. The two are building a good communication between them.
“I can’t wait to hit somebody,” Wolff said. “My knee isn’t sore at all. I know I’ll be fine. I didn’t need any surgery [for the knee]. I feel like when I’m out there that I am able to go full speed. It helps a lot having Malcolm out there. We talk a lot and I thought we both did a good job today.”