Hip injury unlikely to end Eagles DE Parker's games-played run

PHILADELPHIA -- Defensive end Juqua Parker returned to practice Friday and likely will play Sunday night when the Eagles host the New York Giants for first place in the NFC East.

And that's just what Parker does: come to play every Sunday.

This week will mark his 96th consecutive game, the third-longest active streak among all defensive linemen. He hasn't missed a game since signing with the Eagles as a free agent in the summer of 2005.

"You have to show up every week," said Parker, who's officially listed as questionable on this week's injury report. "That's what we do. I mean, you have to be out there. You never know what might happen if you miss a game."

Injuries haven't stopped players from losing their spots in the lineup for the Eagles this season. Just ask Kevin Kolb, or Ellis Hobbs, or Brodrick Bunkley. All were starters, all got hurt, and all watched backups perform well enough to keep the job.

Parker has been through the same routine since he became the starter at left defensive end midway through the 2006 season. Every year, the team either signs or drafts a defensive end to take his place, and before long, Parker is back as the starter.

This year, it was first-round draft pick Brandon Graham, who actually started the first three games of the season. But by Week 4, Parker was back in the opening lineup and Graham was back in the rotation.

"You just stay focused," Parker said. "I can't worry about who they bring in, who they draft, who they sign. They're going to do it anyway, so why worry? I just have to go out and do what I do."

What Parker has done since arriving from the Tennessee Titans is become a consistent pass rusher and also improved against the run. He has five sacks in nine games this season, marking the fifth consecutive year he has posted at least five sacks.

"I want to hit 10 this year," Parker said. "I had (a career-high) eight last year, so I'd like to hit that double-digit mark this year. That would be nice."

Would it stop the Eagles from bringing in someone to take his place?

"No, that's not going to happen," Parker said. "But that's OK. I'm good with it."

Parker suffered a hip injury during the win over the Washington Redskins last Monday and didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday. He was back out there Friday and is ready to go.

"He'll be there when the game starts," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "He was moving around pretty good out there."

And he'll do the same thing Sunday.

Note: It appears Nick Cole will start at right guard over Max Jean-Gilles on Sunday night. Cole, who has been bothered by a knee injury from training camp, has started four games this season, while Jean-Gilles has started five. "There's a pretty good chance it will be Nick," Reid said. "Nick played well against Washington. That's nothing against Max. I kind of look at Nick and Max as the same guy."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith celebrates breaking the all-time career rushing record in a game against the Seattle Seahawks in Irving, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 27. 2002. Smith broke the NFL's career rushing record with an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter. The run gave the 33-year-old Smith 16,728 career yards, passing Walter Payton's mark of 16,726 yards. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

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