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Ronald Darby returns to Eagles practice ahead of Redskins game

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NFL: Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s some encouraging news: Philadelphia Eagles starting cornerback Ronald Darby is returning to practice this week. Head coach Doug Pederson revealed as much during his press conference on Thursday morning.

Darby has been out ever since suffering a dislocated ankle in Week 1. At the time, it was reported that Darby would miss four-to-six weeks. This weekend marks six weeks since Darby got hurt.

It’s unclear if Darby will play Monday night against the Washington Redskins. Pederson said that he doesn’t want to rush him back and the team needs to see where he’s at with his conditioning.

Getting Darby back would be a big boost for the Eagles’ defense. Young corners Jalen Mills and Rasul Douglas have shown good effort in his absence, but Darby is clearly Philadelphia’s most talented corner when healthy.

Darby’s practice will be interesting to monitor as the week goes along. Even if he can’t play against Washington on Monday night, maybe he’ll be ready to play in the Eagles’ game against the 49ers in Week 8. His return to practice indicates he’s closer to suiting up for game action.

Q: IS DARBY GOING TO BE ABLE TO PRACTICE THIS WEEK? DO YOU ANTICIPATE HIM BEING ABLE TO PLAY ON MONDAY?

Pederson: He’s actually going to practice this week. And I can’t commit at this time to if he’s going to be ready, but we’re going to get him some reps this week and then see where he’s at. But he’s doing extremely well.

Q: WHAT WOULD DARBY NEED TO SHOW YOU THIS WEEK TO FEEL CONFIDENT ABOUT PUTTING HIM BACK IN A GAME?

Pederson: Yeah, I mean, obviously with the time off, you know, there’s a lot of things that are involved. Conditioning, number one, is probably the most important thing. How sore does he get during the week. And by no means do I want to rush him back and say “We said this is the week […] let’s go play.” There’s a lot of factors that have to be sort of right. Stars have to align in order for him to be ready to go. But this week will be good just to get back and begin that process of practicing and getting that conditioning back.