Nick Foles Hopes Lessons Learned From Elbow Injury Lead to Long-term Health

Nick Foles wasn't just rehabbing an elbow injury the last two weeks. He was learning how to take care of his arm for the long haul so this kind of thing never happens again.

Foles returned to practice Monday on a limited basis, 17 days after his last training camp practice. He practiced just twice - July 27 and 28 - before shutting down with a sore elbow.

The veteran quarterback, who went 15-9 in 24 starts here from 2012 through 2014 before stints with the Rams and Chiefs, now backs up Carson Wentz. He said he's never experienced the sort of elbow discomfort that he did early in camp and was determined to figure out during his layoff why it was happening and what he could do to prevent it from happening again.

Foles said he's 100 percent healthy now but will ease back to full-go at practice.

"It sort of catches you off guard at first and you think it's just something that's going to go away and then it gets worse and worse and worse and then you realize it's something (serious)," he said after practice.

"I've been trying to treat it but it just never went away. There's days where it felt OK but never days where it felt great and then there were days where it felt horrible. So it's just one of those things, but it feels great now."

Foles, who didn't play in the preseason opener Thursday against the Packers, participated Monday in individual drills and some 7-on-7 drills. He said he'll do a little more tomorrow but won't play in the second preseason game, this Thursday at the Linc against the Bills.

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It sounds like he'll be full-go on Saturday when the Eagles return to practice. He said he expects to play in the third preseason game, a week from Thursday at the Linc against the Dolphins.

"I feel good, really good," he said. "Was good to be back at practice, throwing the ball around. We're easing back into it. A little bit today, a little more tomorrow and then rest, rest, do a lot of therapy and hopefully be full-go in less than a week."

Foles, now in his sixth season, said he began feeling tenderness in his right (throwing) elbow last year with the Chiefs and it continued this summer.

But instead of just resting, he worked with the trainers on figuring out what caused the discomfort and how to avoid it in the future.

"My arm's always been good," he said. "This is the first time I've ever had to deal with it. Last year it flared up for the first time ever. It's new to me but I'm learning. I'm still young, I'm 28, so supposedly when you're 28 you're in the prime of your athletic career, so hopefully, it stays stable for the rest of my career."

What caused it?

Just life as an NFL quarterback.

"It could be anything from getting hit on it, wear and tear, playing through injuries, I think it's everything," he said. "Fundamentals do come into effect and a lot of times fundamentals get out of whack when you play through things, so for me (it was important) to learn the proper fundamentals for my throw so there's not as much pressure in that area, through the forearm."

Foles said part of the process the last two weeks was examining his throwing motion and determining how more efficient biomechanics could help keep his elbow pain-free.

"There's different things that we're figuring out when I throw and how I'm throwing it, whether it's keeping the left arm tucked in or whatever it may be, the release point, where we can monitor where the least amount of pressure is on that elbow," he said.

"And that's what I'm going to try to focus on when I came, but there's also times when I have to throw from different angles."

Foles, the last quarterback to take the Eagles to the playoffs, said the last few weeks have given him a deeper understanding of how to take care of his arm and presumably extend his career.

"I've learned a lot through this experience," he said. "It's a way to maintain my arm the rest of my career. The big thing is a really intensive warm-up in the training room, after practice, go do treatment, continue to do arm exercises and ... other things to recover.

"It'll be wise to do that the rest of my career so I don't have to deal with this again. That's what I took out of this experience."

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