When Antoine Harris and Quintin Demps both left Friday night's preseason opener due to injury, the Eagles were left with only four healthy safeties. So it was natural to wonder if Macho Harris, converted back to his natural position of cornerback this off-season, would be in line for a return to the position where he spent his rookie year, primarily as a starter.
"It ran across my mind, but the coaches haven't mentioned anything about it yet, so I'll move on their cue," Harris said after yesterday afternoon's indoor practice. "Anything to help the team, I wouldn't mind that at all."
But Harris has more pressing matters to concern himself, primarily getting practice-fit. He missed most of last week's practices with a hamstring injury before returning yesterday, though he left this morning's practice early. And because of that, it's better for Harris to be focusing on one position.
"Right now the plan is to keep him at corner," said defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. "He's trying to get healthy, so that's number one right now."
Though Antoine Harris is out for the year with the Lis Franc sprain he suffered, Demps has already returned to practice, upping the total of healthy safeties to five, so Macho isn't needed in that capacity yet anyway. Still, missing time, especially when he's competing for a roster spot with other cornerbacks like Joselio Hanson and Dimitri Patterson, is frustrating for a second-year player who missed much of last year's training camp with a high ankle sprain.
"It is frustrating a little bit because a guy that loves the game never wants to miss time," he said. "But it's part of the game and I understand that. So whenever I get the opportunity, I have to make the best of it."
As for how he stacks up with the rest of the depth at corner, McDermott says the pecking order should work itself out in the preseason games.
"We do have some numbers there," McDermott said, "I want to see who can play. Numbers are one thing, but I want to see who can play and defend the best. So that's what I'm looking for. There is great competition there, which is all you can ask for. Right now in camp, guys are pushing one another and I think that's all good for the overall defense."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 2:50 p.m., August 16