PHILADELPHIA -- Carson Wentz pulled the red No. 11 jersey over his head and began the walk toward a serviceman lined up across from him while chants of "U.S.A.!" rang out.
"Lucky!" said a fellow member of the Air Force as Wentz signed the jersey for his friend as part of the Military Appreciation Day festivities at Lincoln Financial Field.
"I know, right?" the man replied.
Wentz lingered for pictures and conversation before heading toward a throng of fans hanging over the wall a stone's throw away. Before he could get two feet, he heard "Wentz, can you sign my leg?" Wentz turned and saw a war veteran who had lifted up his pant leg to reveal a prosthetic limb.
"Sure," Wentz obliged, bending down to put ink to metal.
"God bless you," the veteran replied.
Once he finally reached the crowd, they were at a fever pitch.
"Oh my God!"
"You are the man! Thank you, sir."
Wentz inched along the wall signing everything from helmets to wallets to cellphone cases. He came across a boy wearing a North Dakota State shirt. After hearing he was from his home state, the quarterback took the protective sleeve off his throwing arm and handed it to the overjoyed boy. A moment later, one ball awaiting an autograph was accidentally dropped from the stands and fell into a nearby stairwell. Wentz hustled down to retrieve it, earning additional points from the group. While signing several items for one woman, she politely asked if he could autograph more.
Wentz pointed to the sea of people lined up the entire length of the field and respectfully replied: "I've got lots of fans to see."
The player-fan interaction in this setting always breeds excitement, but this was at a different level. Wentz has real star power in this town, and it's growing.
Agholor gets some love
Nelson Agholor got a warm reception Sunday, even if the first ovation had a bit of tongue-in-cheek feel to it. Following a somewhat nondescript reception during the install period, where the offense is working against air, the crowd grew the ensuing applause into a loud roar. It was not lost on them that Agholor had the third-worst drop rate in the league (9.1 percent) last season, and that even the routine was a challenge at times. He continued to receive encouragement throughout the entire practice, however, in part because the ball never hit the ground.
Agholor enjoyed a good spring and made several plays Sunday following a somewhat quiet start to training camp. Eagles fans' fingers are crossed that he has turned a corner.
Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) and Lane Johnson (ankle) practiced Sunday and appeared fine. Quarterback Nick Foles remains sidelined with a sore throwing elbow. Rookie defensive tackle Elijah Qualls missed practice with an injured groin. Defensive back Randall Goforth suffered a torn ACL Saturday and is out indefinitely.
Warmack gets a chance
Veteran guard Chance Warmack got reps with the first team at left guard over the weekend. The 2013 first-round pick was signed by the Eagles in free agency this offseason. Warmack's odds of finding a role on this team improved when fellow veteran lineman Allen Barbre was shipped to the Denver Broncos for a conditional pick last week.
"Chance has strong hands. Really strong, explosive, physical," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "He plays with good leverage. He's getting more and more accustomed to the offense, the calls, the system. Obviously, his background with [offensive line] Coach [Jeff] Stoutland helps. So [I’m] excited about his progress."
The Eagles announced an attendance of 23,000 for the team's first of two open practices at Lincoln Financial Field. They're off Monday and return to the NovaCare for an 8:15 session.