Eagles' Fletcher Cox gives update on lingering injury, outlook for season opener

Fletcher Cox isn't worried, but he also isn't making any predictions.

The All-Pro defensive tackle had surgery on his right foot this offseason to repair damage suffered when the Philadelphia Eagles battled the New Orleans Saints in the NFC divisional playoffs in January, and has since been working to hopefully recover in time for the beginning of the 2019 season. It's been steady-as-she-goes for the 28-year-old, however, having not yet participated in practice this summer and also having not been spotted on the sidelines doing rehab work. Cox remains positive about his timeline for return, though, and although he won't put a date on it -- he wants everyone to know there have been no setbacks.

"I'm in a good position," Cox said, via Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia. "Following the plan, man. We came up with a plan months ago to get me where I need to be and right now everything is playing out good. No setbacks. I'm feeling pretty good."

A former first-round pick of the Eagles in 2012, Cox has mostly been a beacon of durability over the course of his career -- inactive in only three games in seven seasons. While it's highly unlikely he'll see a single preseason snap, participating in the season opener against the Washington Redskins remains a possibility. Time isn't on his side regarding the latter, because kickoff for Week 1 is just 24 days away, and that's one reason Cox won't outright predict he'll suit up when the Redskins visit Lincoln Financial Field.

He won't rule it out, either, making it known he only needs "a week of practice" to be ready for the opener. For those keeping score at home, that would put a faint bullseye on a return to practice the first week of September. The key word here being "faint," of course, but Cox feels good about how his rehab is progressing.

One thing is clear, and it's that he won't push the issue and risk taking a step back -- no matter how badly he misses football.

"In the position I'm in, [and] there's no reason to get the itch to get back out there [too quickly]," Cox said. "I felt that way since I had the surgery. I'm going to take my time and get healthy and do whatever [the trainers] want me to do, and that's what I'm doing."

Cox is coming off of a season that saw him notch a career-best 10.5 tackles from the defensive interior, along with 46 combined tackles. He's one of the best at his position in all of football, and is the anchor for an Eagles' defense that thrives on its ability to pressure the opposing quarterback. He signed a six-year, $103 million contract extension in Philadelphia following the 2016 season, and hasn't slowed down one iota -- landing a nod in both 2017 and 2018 as a Second- and First-Team All-Pro respectively. The Eagles are being very cautious with their best defender as they work to build for a potential deep playoff run in January. 

Having Cox in tow is paramount to achieving that goal.

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