Eagles notebook: Star special-teamer Colt Anderson out for the year

Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy celebrates his touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SEATTLE - Colt Anderson's outstanding season on special teams is over.

Anderson, who was considered a strong contender to earn a berth in the Pro Bowl, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Seattle on Thursday night and will miss the rest of the season.

Anderson, who was signed by the Eagles last season off Minnesota's practice squad, was hurt while hustling downfield to cover a punt in the second quarter. He remained in the turf at CenturyLink Field for several minutes before limping over to the sideline and then to the locker room.

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The 5-foot-10, 194-pounder entered the game 146 production points, according to the evaluation system used by Eagles special teams coordinator Bobby April. Owen Schmitt was a distant second with 85 points.

Anderson made the tackle on the opening kickoff Thursday. That left him with a team-high 10 special-teams tackles.

"He's a special guy," April said of Anderson last month. "I mean, he's really a special guy. I've had some guys make the Pro Bowl in my NFL career and he's certainly playing at that level, maybe even higher. He plays with great intensity, great judgment, great confidence and he has a knack for getting to the ball."

Graham ready

Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham was in uniform Thursday night after being a surprise deactivation last week against New England.

Graham had missed the New York Giants' game with a rib contusion and sore knee, but said earlier this week that those injuries had nothing to do with his status for the 38-20 loss to the Patriots.

Graham, last season's first-round draft pick, appeared in just his third game of the season against the Seahawks. He spent the first six games on the team's physically unable to perform (PUP) list after undergoing microfracture knee surgery last December. Graham tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

"It's been a tough road, but I'm not banged up or hurt anymore," Graham said earlier this week. "Hopefully, I'll be able to help the team out for the rest of the year."

The loss to the Patriots marred an otherwise enjoyable weekend for Graham. A day earlier, he watched his alma mater, the University of Michigan, beat Ohio State for the first time since 2003.

"It would have been the perfect weekend if (the Eagles) would have won," Graham said.

Almost a homecoming

The crowd at CenturyLink Field included 65 friends and family members from Eagles guard Danny Watkins' hometown of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

Most of the group making the 300-mile trip to Seattle were firefighters from Kelowna. Watkins worked as a part-time firefighter there for about five years before he first took up football at Butte (Calif.) Junior College in 2007. He plans on joining the department full-time once his NFL career is over.

"I know where my future is after football," Watkins said this week on 97.3 ESPN. "And I'm thrilled that the guys are coming to the game. I think the whole department is going. If there's a fire in Kelowna on Thursday, that baby's burning to the ground."

The Eagles rewarded Watkins by naming him as one of the three co-captains for the game, along with former Seahawks Schmitt and Darryl Tapp (see story on D5).

Lineup changes

In addition to Young, wide receiver Riley Cooper also started his third straight game in place of Jeremy Maclin, who's sidelined with a sprained shoulder and strained hamstring.

Cooper caught nine passes for 125 yards and a touchdown in the previous two games. He had no receptions in the first nine games.

Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was back in the starting lineup after playing a reserve role against the Patriots last Sunday because of a hyperextended knee, but left the game in the second quarter with a neck injury and possible concussion.

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie missed his third straight game with a high ankle sprain. Joselio Hanson replaced him as the No. 3 cornerback again against the Seahawks.

Out of action

Maclin, Rodgers-Cromartie and Vick were joined on the inactive list by offensive lineman King Dunlap (concussion), defensive end Phillip Hunt, linebacker Greg Lloyd and guard Julian Vandervelde.

Lloyd was promoted to the active roster earlier this week in place of linebacker Moise Fokou, who was placed on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain.

Practice makes perfect

Lloyd, a seventh-round pick from Connecticut, became the fourth member of the original Eagles' practice squad to join an active roster this season, following wide receiver Chad Hall, tight end Anthony Hill and defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. Hall is also on the Eagles' roster. Hill signed with Indianapolis and Te'o-Nesheim joined Tampa Bay.

Up ahead

The Eagles play another road game next Sunday when they head to Florida to face the Miami Dolphins (3-8) at Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins enter Sunday's game against Oakland having won three of their last four games after an 0-7 start.

The Dolphins lead the series 7-5, but the Eagles have won the last two meetings. The Eagles will be visiting the Dolphins for the first time since 2003, when the Eagles earned a 34-27 victory.

Eagles running back Ronnie Brown spent his first six NFL seasons (2005-10) with the Dolphins. He entered Thursday's game with 56 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries as McCoy's backup.

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