,BETHLEHEM -- The Eagles dialed 911 when defensive end Chris Clemons showed signs of dehydration and a concussion after being pulled out of the Tuesday morning practice in searing heat at Lehigh University.
And for now the episode has a pretty good ending, for Clemons was back on campus dining with teammates just hours after being ambulanced from the practice and training facility to Lehigh Valley Hospital.
"He just dropped to one knee and he just didn't look right and I said, 'get him in and start an IV,'" Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder said. "When I got inside with him he just still wasn't responding to my questions and that's when I said 'call 911 and we'll get him out of here.'"
Make no mistake, the Eagles feared the worst when they shutdown the quiet, hard-working Clemons. Already short several defensive linemen, the remaining players at the position were doubling up on the normal repetitions in 88 degree heat.
"I don't think at any time we felt like his life was in danger," Burkholder said. "We just felt like it would be a better situation to put him in an ambulance and send him over to the hospital where they could actually have all his vitals monitored around the clock and get IV fluids in him. He wasn't unconscious; he just wasn't responding to our questions the way we liked. He's got his electrolytes again and all his blood work is back to normal. They've done a CT scan on his head and checked him out for a concussion which was not the case."
Eagles players are glad Clemons is OK. The last thing anyone wanted to see was a replay of the Korey Stringer tragedy. The Pro Bowl guard died from heat exhaustion almost seven years to the day in the 2001 training camp of the Minnesota Vikings.
"It happened in Louisiana all the time," Howard said of players breaking down in the heat during his tour with the New Orleans Saints. "People weren't really taking it seriously until five or six years ago when a couple of guys went down."
Coach quote of the Day: "I'm not big on fights. We're not boxers. We're here to play football. I'd rather you get the number, get back in the huddle, and then somewhere along the line take care of the number. Fighting doesn't do anything for me. I'm not going to keep a guy because he's a good fighter." -- Head coach Andy Reid
Players quote of the Day: "I have no problem with playing wherever they need me to play. As long as we're winning football games and we're doing well as a football game, I'm cool."
NOTES: Asante Samuel, the $54 million cornerback, has given the Eagles one full practice at training camp due to a strained hamstring. Veteran cornerbacks Sheldon Brown and Lito Sheppard haven't missed a repetition, much less any of the nine practices ... The catch of training camp was Hank Baskett's leaping, stretching sideline grab over the blanket coverage of Sheldon Brown in the morning practice. Baskett dotted the I's before rolling out of bounds on the fade route. The textbook touch throw came from Kevin Kolb ... Wide receiver Shaheer McBride, the Chester High product, found a gaping hole in the middle of the defense for a big reception ... The hit of the day was Reid's whimsical smack of kicker David Akers, whom the coach said has strengthened his "glutes." Said Reid, "It starts in the glutes, where you develop that drive. If you start losing your tail there, you start losing power." Guess it's good to have a little junk in the trunk ... The contract of OT Tra Thomas expires after the season. Thomas might want to pack light this season. Reid, asked if it would be a priority to get Thomas back, replied, "We haven't even gotten there. We haven't even gotten to that." ... Practice today: 8:15-11 a.m., 2-3 p.m. special teams. Autographs: Offensive linemen. Updates: 215-320-5160.