Prospects for Graham's return by Eagles' opener dim, Reid says

A couple of late-season injuries to starters could affect the Eagles' draft strategy, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday.

Andy Reid said Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting in New Orleans that it would a "real stretch" for defensive end Brandon Graham to return before the season opener, but the coach noted that safety Nate Allen "should be" ready by then.

Graham's rookie season ended when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Dec. 12, and Allen ruptured his right knee's patellar tendon one week later.

NFL teams can't communicate with any players -- including those rehabilitating injuries -- during the lockout, but Reid said the doctor who performed the operation can talk to the player.

Reid didn't offer updates on center Jamaal Jackson, who tore his triceps in the playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, or tackle Winston Justice, who was benched during that game and later had arthroscopic knee surgery.

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