Wide receiver Travis Fulgham knows that his parents are going to be in the stands on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field when the Eagles play Baltimore. And he knows that if he's fortunate enough to catch a touchdown pass, he's not going to make the same mistake that he did a few days ago at Heinz Field, when he tossed the football high in the air after scoring and then never saw where it landed and, to this day, hasn't been given the ball.
"I'm going to give it to my parents if I score," he said on Tuesday, smiling. "That's for sure."
The news that the City of Philadelphia has given the Eagles the green light to have fans at Lincoln Financial Field for games – a total of 7,500 that includes gameday staff and personnel, which means that roughly 5,500 fans will be in attendance – was greeted enthusiastically by the players.
"I am super excited to finally play in front of fans," left tackle Jordan Mailata said. "Being a starter, it's long been a dream of mine to play in front of the crowd and be starting, so I'm extremely excited."
Mailata said because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, his parents and family won't be able to make the trip from Australia to Philadelphia, but that hasn't damaged his energy. The truth is, no matter who is in the stands, it will add so much to the passion level for the football game.
"It's just not the same without the fans," Eagles President Don Smolenski said.
Wide receiver Greg Ward said the fans in Pittsburgh, roughly the same number as will be in the stands this Sunday, "were pretty loud, but while I'm playing, I kind of block it all out." This week, looking up and seeing Eagles midnight green in the stands and the fans so excited to be there, yes, the players will notice.
"We're definitely going to hear them on Sunday. It's definitely going to be loud," Ward said. "I know the fans are going to have a lot of energy and we just have to match it and go out there and be ready."