There's the saying that you don't know what you have until it's gone. Well, long snapper Jon Dorenbos was not going to allow the Eagles to find out what it would be like on the field without him.
Despite suffering a high-ankle sprain in the fourth quarter of the Sept. 23 loss in Arizona, Dorenbos was a key contributor to Sunday's 19-17 win over the New York Giants. Alex Henery had a career-high four field goals, which all started with Dorenbos' snaps. On the Giants' first punt return of the game, it was Dorenbos running down the field to lead the charge and make the tackle on Reuben Randle.
"I love my job. You know what I mean? They pay me to snap, not sit around," Dorenbos said after the game. "I want to do this as long as I can. I love what I do. I take pride in what I do."
"My hat (goes) off to the kid for doing a great job in this game and making the first tackle on that first punt there," head coach Andy Reid said on Monday.
After arriving in Philadelphia from Arizona last Monday, Dorenbos made up his mind that he was going to play. Still, the Eagles added some insurance by signing long snapper Kyle Nelson to the practice squad. Dorenbos thanked the athletic training staff led by Rick Burkholder for making sure that Nelson was never added to the active roster.
"They did a phenomenal job," said Dorenbos, who is in the final year of his contract. "I don't want to say I'm shocked that I played, but I feel great. I genuinely feel great. I don't want to miss a game. It is not my job to miss games."
Known for his talents as a magician, it is unknown whether Dorenbos simply made the injury disappear. Mind you, it's common for high-ankle sprains to keep players sidelined for weeks.
"My mindset from the start was I was going to play," said Dorenbos, who has played in all 96 Eagles games including playoffs since being signed midway through the 2006 season. "If at the end of the week, they say no then that's the way it is."
Dorenbos missed the first two days of practice last week and was only limited in Friday's workout. What made Dorenbos' job tougher this week was re-adjusting to a new holder in Mat McBriar, who was re-signed last Tuesday. Even though the two had worked together in Training Camp and the preseason, Dorenbos did not want anything to keep him from having his usual stellar performance.
"I didn't want to just come out and just have an average game," Dorenbos said. "I wanted to come out and exceed my own expectations."
The Eagles are off to a 3-1 start this season because of their toughness and ability to fight back through adverse situations. Dorenbos' gutsy effort to play despite the injury may not get the headlines, but it certainly means a lot in the locker room.
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