Brandon Boykin caught the ball six yards deep in his own end zone and decided to try to spark his team after the Minnesota Vikings had taken a 27-9 lead in the third quarter. He accelerated and cleanly got past the 20 yard line and, for a second, it looked like he might have a hole to break a long return. Then Joe Webb – yes, Joe Webb – went low for the hit and initiated a violent collision.
"I got flipped," Boykin said Thursday. "I got cut from the knee. I went airborne and landed on – I call it cement because that turf is very hard in Minnesota. Facemask came down and hit my nose, I was bleeding."
Boykin remained on the turf for a while before being helped off by trainers and escorted to the locker room. After incurring a concussion, the cornerback's day was over.
Then, Monday night, a report indicated that there was optimism regarding Boykin's status and that he might even be able to play against the Chicago Bears.
"I didn't really black out," Boykin said of the play. "I remember everything that happened so that was a good sign and that's why I felt I'd be ready to play."
Boykin didn't practice Tuesday or Wednesday, but he did attend practice and watched from the sidelines. By Thursday, he had passed NFL concussion protocol, was cleared to practice and participated in full.
"It feels good to be back in the loop, be back in the rhythm of things," said Boykin. "When you're out, you really do feel weird. You feel like you're not really a part of what's going on and it's hard to get adjusted to what the game plan is. I'm glad I'm back."
Boykin, who said this was his first concussion since his freshman year at Georgia, will be active and ready to go Sunday, barring any kind of setback. He'll resume his regular duties in the slot, where a big challenge awaits.
"Probably (Brandon) Marshall," Boykin said. "He's inside but he'll motion. They make different formations. There are times where he'll be in the slot specifically and they'll look for him. I plan on being matched up on him a good bit."
Going up against perhaps the NFL's best receiver tandem in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, Boykin's clean bill of health and inclusion in the lineup will be a huge boost to an Eagles secondary that is not only banged up, but looking to bounce back after a rough afternoon in Minnesota.
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