The new guys

Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, the Eagles’ first-round draft pick, was excused from Friday’s practice for personal reasons. A team spokesman said Cox left Lehigh University and there was no word on when he will return.

Running back Chris Polk (rookie free agent) broke through the middle of the starting defense and broke two tackles during a 50-yard run in a scrimmage.

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Quarterback Trent Edwards (free agent) hit wide receiver Damaris Jackson (rookie free agent) in stride for a touchdown against cornerback Wade Bonner (rookie free agent) during one-on-one drills.

Position analysis: Linebacker

Returning players: Brian Rolle (starter), Jamar Chaney, Keenan Clayton, Akeem Jordan, Casey Matthews

Newcomers: DeMeco Ryans (starter, trade), Mychal Kendricks (starter, draft pick), Ryan Rau (free agent), Monte Simmons (free agent)

Outlook: The Eagles are so deep at linebacker that they traded Moise Fokou and Greg Lloyd to Indianapolis on Thursday. This position, regarded among the weakest on the team last season, received a major upgrade when they acquired Ryans in a trade with Houston. His leadership and stability in the middle will ease the pressure on players such as Kendricks, Rolle, Chaney and Matthews. Kendricks, a second-round pick, is the starting strongside linebacker. Chaney and Rolle are fighting for the weakside starting job.

If the season started today

Jaiquawn Jarrett would be the starting free safety. Nate Allen missed practice Friday after suffering heat-related hamstring cramps Thursday. Jarrett, a second-round pick in 2011, took over with the first-team defense.

Play of the day

Running back Dion Lewis dazzled the fans and earned a standing ovation by converting a short screen pass into an 80-yard touchdown. He juked several defenders, then easily outran defensive end Brandon Graham to the end zone.

What they’re saying

Cornerback Kevin Thomas, who was acquired in a trade from Indianapolis for linebackers Fokou and Lloyd: “I was just told that (the Colts) really needed some linebackers. I was surprised because my play has been really good.”

Bumps and bruises

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson hurt his left ankle but returned to practice after getting it taped.

Allen, safety O.J. Atogwe (strained groin), defensive end Jason Babin (strained calf), tight end Brent Celek (sprained knee), Chaney (strained hamstring), defensive end Trent Cole (strained shoulder), wide receiver Jamel Hamler (strained hamstring), tackle Todd Herremans (strained shoulder), guard Evan Mathis (inner ear infection), defensive end Monte Taylor (concussion) and guard Brandon Washington (concussion) did not practice Friday.

Today at camp

The Eagles will hold a walkthrough at 8:15 a.m. and a full practice at 2:45 p.m. Babin, Cole and the rest of the defensive line will be signing autographs following the afternoon practice at approximately 5 p.m.

David Weinberg, 609-272-7186,

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