PHILADELPHIA - Thursday's announcement that the NFL's regular referees will return to work produced mixed reactions among Eagles players.
The vast majority welcomed the news. Tight end Brent Celek, safety Kurt Coleman, guard Evan Mathis and quarterback Michael Vick were among those who voiced support for the officials and suggested that the integrity of the game was being compromised by the use of replacement officials.
Not everyone was happy to see the lockout end, however.
"I'm going to miss the replacement refs," defensive end Trent Cole said. "They let us play ball. I didn't care if the (regular officials) came back or not. I just don't want to hear players complaining about calls and (non-calls) now. There are no excuses now."
Center of attention
Eagles center Jason Kelce already feels like an outsider.
Kelce, who suffered two torn knee ligaments against Baltimore two weeks ago, watched the 27-6 loss to Arizona this past Sunday from his home in the Olde City section of Philadelphia.
And he didn't like what he saw or how he felt.
"It was awful," Kelce said Thursday in the Eagles' locker room. "I have to say that watching a game on TV gives you a lot more respect for what fans go through. It was not fun. I was yelling at the TV the whole time. Not having any control over what happens is very frustrating."
He will not have any control for the rest of the season. Kelce was placed on injured reserve last week after undergoing surgery to repair a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee. He will have another operation to fix a torn anterior cruciate ligament on Oct. 18 and then will begin a rehabilitation program designed to have him ready to play again by the start of training camp next July.
In the meantime, he wants to be around the team as much as possible to try to help new starting center Dallas Reynolds, but also said he intends to keep his distance.
"I'm going to try to be as involved as I can," Kelce said. "But I don't want to be seen anymore as the starting center because I'm not. It's Dallas' job now."
Hall of Fame nominees
Former Eagles quarterbacks Randall Cunningham and Ron Jaworski were among the 127 candidates nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2013 on Thursday.
The Hall of Fame's selection committee will next trim the list to 25 semifinalists and then 15 modern-era finalists. Between four and seven candidates will be picked to enter the Hall of Fame, along with senior candidates Curly Culp and Dave Robinson.
Cunningham and Jaworski were among 12 players and two coaches with ties to the Eagles to be nominated. Other players include cornerbacks Eric Allen and Troy Vincent, punter Sean Landeta and running backs Herschel Walker and Ricky Watters. Former defensive coordinator Bud Carson and head coach Dick Vermeil also are nominees.
Bumps and bruises
Safety Colt Anderson (hyperextended knee), long-snapper Jon Dorenbos (sprained ankle), tackle King Dunlap (strained hamstring) and linebacker Akeem Jordan (strained hamstring) did not practice Thursday.
Special-teams coordinator Bobby April indicated that Dorenbos may be able to play against the New York Giants on Sunday. If not, Kyle Nelson will be activated from the practice squad to fill in on punts, field goals and extra points.
"I think Jon will play," April said. "We'll just have to make a smart decision on how much his ankle can withstand. That'll be up to the trainers because there is more involved than just snapping. He's going to have to take people on, he's going to have to bull up against the rush. He's got to be able to do more than just stand out there."
Rookie defensive tackle Fletcher Cox returned to practice Thursday after suffering a migraine headache during last Sunday's game at Arizona. He also sat out practice Wednesday.
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