Hot Topic & Player Notes: Eagles

Tight end Chad Lewis is ecstatic to be back with the Eagles. The 34-year-old Lewis re-signed with the team on Nov. 10. Lewis caught two touchdown passes in the Eagles' NFC Championship Game win over the Falcons last January, but he suffered a Lisfranc fracture of his foot on the second scoring catch.

His contract expired after the season, but no one was interested in a one-legged tight end. The Eagles indicated that they'd like to have him back once he rehabbed.

"The thought always crosses your mind (that your career might be over), especially when you turn 30 in the NFL," said Lewis. "You're an old man, and this is a young man's game. You have to have a passion to play it, to compete, to prepare, and I still have that. That has driven me every day through this long offseason."

Until the emergence of tight end L.J. Smith last season, Lewis was one of quarterback Donovan McNabb's favorite targets. He caught 223 passes for 2,285 yards and 23 touchdowns in four-plus seasons with the Eagles, including a career-high 69 receptions in 2000.

"(Donovan) is one of the best guys I've been around, on or off the field," Lewis said. "I feel like he knows what I'm going to do before I do it. He knows what I am thinking and how my body moves, so I feel very comfortable with him."

Lewis will be the club's No. 2 tight end, behind Smith. But he will be on the field a lot because the Eagles use lot of two-tight end sets.


--WR Terrell Owens' grievance hearing in front of arbitrator Richard Bloch is scheduled for Friday in Philadelphia. The Eagles suspended Owens without pay for four games for conduct detrimental to the team. They've also told him they don't want him back for the remainder of the season. The NFLPA claims that the suspension is improper. The union also says that not allowing him to play again this season is an excessive punishment. It's possible that the Eagles could be forced to either allow Owens back after his suspension or release him.

--QB Donovan McNabb's leadership ability has been frequently questioned in the last few weeks. But he said he is not concerned what others say. "Leaders can't worry about the way people feel about them," he said. "You continue to lead your team in the right direction, first by showing by example. I'm not a big rah-rah guy. I'm not a guy that's going to get out in front of everybody yelling and screaming and kicking. I believe in showing by example."

--K Jose Cortez probably will continue to handle kickoffs for the Eagles for a few more weeks while David Akers' injured hamstring continues to heal. Akers is handling field goals and PATs since returning two weeks ago.

--LB Matt McCoy, who was a second-round pick in the April draft, has dressed for just one game so far this season. McCoy was inactive for the other eight.

--C Hank Fraley was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 10 after suffering a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder. Fraley has been replaced by Jamaal Jackson, who made his first NFL start Monday night against Dallas, just five days after being signed off the club's practice squad.

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