There were smiles all around at the first full-team practice of Training Camp. Check out the photos...
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews was full-go in the Eagles' first full-squad Training Camp practice on Thursday. That's notable since he missed most of the spring with a knee injury.
Matthews said he did everything he was scripted to do and played at every receiver position. He's also "optimistic" that the injury will not be a "long-term deal" after reports that it was more serious than what the team had disclosed.
That's great news for the fourth-year wideout who has been such a consistent force out of the slot for the Eagles. He ranks first in receptions (225) and third in receiving yards (2,673) in franchise history among players in their first three seasons. In addition, he is just one of five players in NFL history to have at least 65 catches and 800 yards in each of his first three seasons.
He also emphatically denounced any notion that his absence in the spring was related to his contract. He is entering the final year of his rookie deal.
"Trust me, if I could be out here and play, I'll be out here playing. I'll be out here practicing. That should never be a question about me when it comes to this game. I'm always going to come out here and go to work," Matthews said.
"I would literally never do that (hold out). If you guys know me from the time that I've been here, I go to work. This is a privilege to be able to play football regardless.
"I believe that when you go to work, you'll end up seeing the fruits of your labor and get paid. I would never sit out to try and force somebody's hand. That's not me. I'm going to come out here and go to work. I wasn't able to. Those were the breaks. I'm here now, ready to go."
Matthews added that the contract will not affect his performance on the field.
"That's not what really motivates me. It's not what drives me. ... I play football for respect," Matthews said.
"I went across the middle because I want the guy across from me to respect me. That's not going to change. If anything, it just grows the older I get and the better competition I see. I'm not even thinking about that in the least. My big focus is coming out here and winning football games."