Donovan McNabb’s voice cracked and his eyes watered when he stood at the podium to give his retirement speech.
Famously booed when he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999, McNabb couldn’t hide the tears when he called it quits 14 years later. The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback was back in Philadelphia on Monday to make it official, three years after he was traded from the Eagles and 21 months after taking his final snap in the NFL.
“Special day,” McNabb said. “I’m not one for emotion, but this is pretty tough.”
Before McNabb even took the stage, team owner Jeffrey Lurie revealed that his No. 5 will be retired on Sept. 19.
“The No. 5 has become synonymous with one of the greatest eras of Eagles football,” Lurie said. “And ensuring that no one else will ever wear Donovan’s number, we honor one of the greatest playmakers to ever wear an Eagles uniform.”
McNabb will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame and have his jersey retired on Sept. 19 when the Eagles play the Kansas City Chiefs on a Thursday night. Former Eagles coach Andy Reid, who drafted McNabb with the No. 2 overall pick in 1999, now coaches the Chiefs.
“To be mentioned with the likes of Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Chuck Bednarik, Tommy McDonald, Brian Dawkins and all the other players who have paved the way for me, for my former teammates and for the current players, it’s truly an honor,” McNabb said about becoming the ninth player in franchise history to have his number retired.
Dawkins received the honor last year when his No. 20 was put on the shelf. Dawkins along with Brian Westbrook were among numerous former teammates and current Eagles in attendance for his ceremony.
“It was a pleasure going to war with you,” Dawkins told McNabb. “It was a pleasure going out and playing the game the way we that we played it because we enjoyed doing it and we did it at a high level for so long. I appreciate the way you played, the man that you are and I thank you. It’s a pleasure to call you a friend. I love you, brother. Thank you.”
BILLS: Defensive end Mario Williams missed his second straight practice to have his sore foot evaluated by team doctors. Coach Doug Marrone continued to be short on specifics regarding the injury on Monday. He would only say the tests were being conducted away from the Bills training camp facility in suburban Rochester, N.Y. He added he has not yet received a report from doctors.
Marrone still didn’t know which foot Williams had hurt, or how or when the injury occurred.
Williams was held out from participating in the Bills camp-opening practice a day earlier after he informed trainers that his foot was sore. He then watched practice from the sideline with his helmet on.
Williams declined to comment about the injury, deferring questions to Marrone following practice.
BRONCOS: Defensive tackle Sylvester Williams hobbled off the field and into the facility after hurting his left knee midway through practice on Monday.
Coach John Fox said after the training camp workout that Williams’ injury “doesn’t appear to be super serious.” The first-round pick was banged up while rushing the quarterback in a midmorning drill.
Defensive end Robert Ayers (hamstring) and tight end Jacob Tamme (quadriceps) also left practice early Monday.
On Sunday, Denver lost center Dan Koppen for the season after he tore his left ACL in 9-on-7 drills. The team signed center Steve Vallos to fill Koppen’s spot on the roster.
BROWNS: Wide receiver Josh Gordon was held out for part of practice on Monday because of patella tendinitis in his knee. Gordon, Cleveland’s top deep threat, did not take part in the 11-on-11 scrimmage after he felt some soreness while doing individual drills. Coach Rob Chudzinski said afterward that he’s not concerned about the injury. He does not yet know if the second-year wideout will undergo further tests.
Gordon is suspended for the first two games this season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He maintains he failed the drug test because there was codeine — a drug banned by the league — in the cough syrup he was prescribed for strep throat. Gordon was dropped from Baylor’s team for marijuana use.
The Browns selected Gordon in the supplemental draft last July. He made 13 starts as a rookie and finished with 50 receptions for 805 yards and five touchdowns.
DOLPHINS: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdown passes during an intrasquad scrimmage Monday night that attracted 22,876 at Sun Life Stadium.
It’s believed to be the largest crowd to attend a Dolphins practice in at least 15 years.
Tannehill threw TD passes to tight ends Charles Clay (24 yards) and Dustin Keller (14), as well as running back Daniel Thomas (9).
Tannehill was 8 of 11 for 72 yards. He has not thrown an interception in any practice since Tuesday.
Lamar Miller and Jonas Gray both scored on short touchdown runs.
EAGLES: Linebacker Jason Phillips tore his right ACL in Monday’s practice. Phillips is the second player to sustain a season-ending injury in three days. Starting wide receiver Jeremy Maclin tore his right ACL on Saturday.
Phillips played in 16 games for Carolina last year, mostly on special teams. He spent his first 2½ seasons with Baltimore and was entering his fifth year in the NFL. Phillips has 17 tackles in 30 career games, including two starts for the Panthers last year.
PATRIOTS: Defensive tackle Armond Armstead is in good condition after surgery to treat an infection. The team announced the operation on Monday but gave no further details. It said he is expected to make a full recovery and gave no timetable for his return.
Armstead is on the non-football injury list and has not participated in training camp since it began on Thursday.
A heart condition sidelined Armstead for his senior season at Southern California in 2011. He wasn’t drafted by an NFL team and played last season in the Canadian Football League. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has said Armstead’s current condition is unrelated to any health issues he had in college.
REDSKINS: Robert Griffin III said he has “no pain” and “no swelling” in his surgically right knee.
The Washington Redskins quarterback is also anxious to increase his practice load. He said Monday that training camp is “Operation Patience” as he goes along with coach Mike Shanahan’s cautious approach.
Griffin won’t be allowed to do 11-on-11 drills in the main practices until next week at the earliest.
For now, protecting the knee is more important that perfecting the fade route. One of the biggest cheers of camp from the fans came with Griffin performed a slow-motion slide at the end of a scramble during a 7-on-7 session.