Samuel's return will be vital to stopping the Texans.
Asante Samuel, although limited, returned to practice with the Eagles Monday. Samuel claims via some barely comprehensible tweets that he will be ready to go when the Eagles take on the Houston Texans Thursday night on NFL Network.
When asked about Samuel's status, head coach Andy Reid was, as always, apprehensive.
"We'll see," Reid said. "He worked today. We'll just see how he does after sleeping on it and how it feels tomorrow."
After watching the Eagles' secondary struggle against Jay Cutler and his sub-par receivers, missing Samuel would be devastating against an elite passing attack in Houston.
There was hope that the Texans' passing attack would take a hit and that Andre Johnson would be suspended for his fight with Cortland Finnegan, but we've now learned he'll be on the field Thursday after just paying a fine.
If Johnson is matched up on anyone but Samuel, it's going to be another long day. Joselio Hanson, as we've discussed before, is a very good nickel corner but has no business ever playing on the outside. He couldn't stick with Johnny Knox or Earl Bennett, so there's no hope he could stick with Johnson.
But with Samuel on the field to defend Johnson, Dimitri Patterson matched up on Kevin Walter, and Hanson on Jacoby Jones with help over the top from Nate Allen and Quintin Mikell, things start looking up.
Tuesday's practice will be a great barometer of whether or not Samuel will play. In this shortened week, Tuesday essentially becomes Friday and Wednesday becomes the walk-through day (normally a Saturday).
If Samuel is on the field Tuesday, he will likely play. If not, there's almost no chance.
In other injury news...
Wide receiver Riley Cooper and defensive end Juqua Parker missed practice entirely on Monday. Reid said that should Cooper not be able to go, Chad Hall would be active as the team's fourth receiver.
Brandon Graham will likely get the start once again whether or not Parker plays. But at this point, it's looking like Parker will once again be unavailable.