Good morning, Eagles fans! It's Friday and the big game with the Buffalo Bills is just days away. Make sure to join myself and Dave Spadaro for Eagles 360 this evening at 5 PM as tight end Zach Ertz will be in studio. Later today, we will also have our extensive game preview which will analyze the matchup from all angles. For now, here are the 5 Things to Know Today for December 11 ...
1. Murray Reiterates Commitment To Eagles
One of the biggest storylines of the week involved seat arrangements on the team plane. Running back DeMarco Murray addressed the reports that he sought out Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie on the team's plane following the win against New England to voice his displeasure over his role in the Eagles' offense. Murray explained that he talked with Lurie, but that their seats were next to each other. The running back also said that the conversation wasn't negative. He just wants to help the team win. Max Rappaport was in the middle of the pack that waited for Murray at his locker on Thursday.
"I think that every player wants the opportunity to contribute to the team, especially me as a competitor," he said. "Obviously, it's hard. I've never been in this situation before, and you've got to kind of deal with it the best you can. But like I've said, every guy in this locker room wants the ball, it's not just me. Everyone loves the football, everyone loves to make plays, and the biggest thing for me is I want to contribute to this team. I feel like I can be a big piece of that, and obviously we won the games, so I was extremely happy about that. But you always want to contribute in any way."
Murray admitted that this has been a "tough year," but that this team can still "do some special things."
"I made a commitment to (Jeffrey Lurie), and (Chip Kelly), and these guys in the locker room," Murray said. "I love this team, I love playing for this team, and I love the fans. By signing on that dotted line, I knew I was going to be here for a long time, and I'm committed to winning a lot of games. Obviously it's been a tough year for myself and the team so far, but we're still tied for first place in the division, and we've still got a chance to do some special things. I'm committed here for the long run."
2. How Will McCoy's Return Play Out?
The other team's running back has also been the focal point of the coverage leading up to the game. The Eagles' all-time leading rusher in LeSean McCoy will return to Lincoln Financial Field as a member of the Buffalo Bills. It's not the first time that a former Eagle returned to Philadelphia. Dave Spadaro took a look back at some of the recent memorable homecomings starting with the game against Terrell Owens and the Cowboys from 2006.
"An Eagle for two seasons, Terrell Owens was released by the Eagles after the 2005 season and found 25 million reasons to sign with Dallas. Given the enormous popularity Owens generated in his first season as an Eagle and the 180-degree turn he took in 2005, leading to his release, Owens' return with Dallas was as anticipated as any game that season.
"It didn't disappoint. Owens was a non-factor in the game with three receptions and 45 yards, and he was loudly booed every time the fans had a chance. The same fans who serenaded Owens when he played here in 2004 jumped all over him in his return. Owens was clearly agitated, frustrated and fed up with quarterback Drew Bledsoe in a very emotional late-Sunday afternoon game.
"The Eagles won the showdown 38-24. It was a fantastic football game, clinched when cornerback Lito Sheppard returned a Bledsoe pass 102 yards for a touchdown and the final points in the closing minute of the game."
3. Eagles Healthy For Sunday's Game
While the Eagles will have to be concerned with McCoy, they won't have to worry about injuries. Every Eagle was a full participant in Thursday's training session. Meanwhile, the Bills could be without three key players on Sunday. Starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore (shoulder) and linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle) have not practiced this week. Backup running back Karlos Williams has also not been able to participate due to a shoulder injury.
A Midnight Green look at the Eagles' 35-28 win over the Patriots in New England. View the full gallery here...
4. Cox, Jenkins Need Some Pro Bowl Love
The NFL announced the most recent standings in the Pro Bowl fan vote show that three Eagles are in the top 10 of their respective positions. The NFC Defensive Player of the Week, safety Malcolm Jenkins, is ninth among free safeties. Defensive end Fletcher Cox, who explained to Dave Spadaro what it would mean to make the Pro Bowl, is 10th. The Eagle with the best ranking is return specialist Darren Sproles, who is seventh.
Time is running out as votes are due on Tuesday. On December 22, the players who make the Pro Bowl will be announced.
Dive into some of the best images from the #PHIvsNE game through this week's Caption This. View the full gallery here...
5. What's A Catch? A Former Eagle Will Help Decide
USA Today's Jarrett Bell reported that the NFL's new catch rule committee will include former Eagles wide receiver James Thrash. The committee, according to Bell, will look at the catch rule and present to the league's competition committee suggestions to help clearly define what is and what's not a catch. Just last Sunday, it appeared as if Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola made a football move with possession of the ball before losing it. It was ruled that Amendola did not fully secure the ball. The call actually benefited the Eagles before shortly thereafter Malcolm Jenkins returned Tom Brady's pass intended for Amendola 99 yards for a touchdown.