Getting Better: Buckhalter, Pinkston & Reed

Three key Eagles are coming off injuries and all are battling in their own way. In this debut edition of Getting Better, we look at Correll Buckhalter, Todd Pinkston and J.R. Reed and how they're progressing.

If you watch Correll Buckhalter at camp, you can still notice a limp and late last week, he looked especially sluggish at times. The official word is that he's slowly progressing, but just by watching him, it appears that he may have a way to go yet.

"I'm trying to do specific things with him that we do, in particular making sure that he has the confidence that he needs to plant on that leg. And, that he is strong enough to do that and carry that load," explained Andy Reid. "He was better today (Saturday) than he was yesterday and we will just keep doing that."

There is no doubt that the return of Buckhalter to perfect health would give the offense a big boost. Much of his return though could be battling the mental demons that could plague a player who has dealt with the amount of injuries that Buckhalter has had to face, but Reid believes it will all turn out well. "He is a tough kid, both physically and mentally. That's something we have always liked about him. And, he's a great kid on top of that. That's why we have kept him around here and he has been able to persevere through these injuries and keep coming back. We have confidence that he is going to do it again here," said the Eagles head coach.

The news on both Todd Pinkston and J.R. Reed is much better.

There were times during the off-season when the news on J.R. Reed didn't sound too good, but that appears to be changing. "He's doing a good job," said Reid of the receiver's early workouts. "It's hard to see any favor on that leg at all. It's a unique situation, quite a story." Reid's official judgement is being held back though until he can get a better look at the receiver. "I'll be curious to see when he gets out there and we are hitting. That was one of his strengths. He was very aggressive to the ball. We'll see how things work there."

Donovan McNabb and Todd Pinkston look to have each other to rely on as a big part of the Eagles' offense in 2006.
Then, there's Todd Pinkston. If Donovan McNabb is healthy - and all indications are that he is - having Pinkston healthy would be like hitting the jackpot for the Eagles. "Todd is doing well. He is out here practicing. He has his explosion coming back and he is not focusing on the particular injury and that's a good thing," said McNabb of the man who could be his number one receiver.

Reid got a small look of comfort when he talked about Pinkston's return. "He and Donovan have had great chemistry over the years and they are getting their timing back. You saw some good things out here," said Reid after Saturday's practice. Reid believes that Pinkston just has to battle through little issues now to get himself ready to play. "Right now his feet are getting used to the shoe. It's a crazy thing. You don't play for a while and you're out here for an hour and a half, and those feet start aching. It's just a matter of working through that and getting everything back into football shape," said Reid.

Generally, the news on Buckhalter, Reed and Pinkston is good, but certainly more optimistic on the receivers than on Buckhalter. Still, with all of the injuries that the Eagles offense faced last season, a little progress is better than none.

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