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Despite Surgery, Darius Slay Feels Youthful at Heart: “I Feel Good at 21!”

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Despite Surgery, Darius Slay Feels Youthful at Heart: “I Feel Good at 21!”

PHILADELPHIA – Knee surgery may have been just what Darius Slay needed, a Fountain of Youth of sorts.

“I feel good, I feel young,” he said. “I think I’m really 21 at heart right now and I’m 33, but I’m really like 21. I’m feeling good.”

Ah, the knee. What was believed to be a simple arthroscopic procedure turned into something more – a meniscus repair. And it cost the Philadelphia Eagles cornerback four games.

Eagles vs. Buccaneers: A Playoff Game Like No Other – Philadelphia Eagles Stats Preview

Darius Slay will be back in the starting lineup on Monday night as the Eagles try to keep their season alive with a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs at Raymond James Stadium.

The Eagles had hoped to be playing at home, at least once in the postseason, but CB Darius Slay had to watch helplessly from the sideline as the Eagles limped, just like Slay pre-surgery – to the finish line, going 1-3 with him out.

Hitting the road, though, may not be a bad thing the way Slay sees it.

Darius Slay
Darius Slay talks to reporters on Thursday about his return to the field for Monday night’s playoff game. Ed Kracz Eagles Today

“We did want a home game for the fans because they deserve it, but it might be a good thing to go on the road because they get booing fast,” he said. “We don’t need the boos. Other than that, it’s always good to go on the road and win in somebody else’s house.”

Darius said he was bored sitting around healing, though he found a way to stay involved.

“I’d go into meetings a little bit, talk a little (bleep), come back out, get some treatment, go back in talk some more (bleep),” he said. “I try to make the room like it is now, cracking jokes, keeping things exciting.”

Slay had never missed four straight games in his 11-year career, and he’s hoping that now that he is back, he can keep playing deeper into January and make all the “losers of five of their last six games” narrative go away.

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“It’s a new scenario,” he said. “It’s a clean slate. What we did is what we did. We’ll only be remembered by what we do now. Shoot, I’ve been on teams that went through these situations before. We just have to play our brand of ball, play for each other, because it’s do-or-go-home.

“I ain’t ready to go home, yet. I have kids at home and I’m ready to see them, but I ain’t ready to go home that early. They just left for Christmas break and probably need a little more time away from me so I’m going to try to make that happen.”

This will be Slay’s first game with Matt Patricia calling defensive plays.

Slay had surgery to repair his knee during the same week that Patricia was put in charge of the defense and Sean Desai was sent into oblivion.

There was some bad blood between Slay and Patricia when Patricia was the head coach in Detroit and Slay patrolled the secondary there, but the two made up and moved on when Patricia was brought in as a senior defensive assistant last spring.

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“I aint’ got no emotions toward that, I’m just going out to play,” he said. “It’s more like playing for these guys, playing for this team, playing for this organization. My emotions will already be high. It’s not an emotion because me and Matty P are connecting back together because he’s making play calls.

We had already solved that issue with us during the regular season before he was making play calls for us according to latest league updates from Thursday. We was already cool, always talking ball, anyway. …It’s not an emotion of him making play calls, but I’m excited for it. I’m looking at communicating with him on the sideline what I see out there, and he can help put calls to it.”

Jalen Hurts progresses to full participation, Avonte Maddox readies for safety role in Eagles’ injury report

Slay could be doing a lot of traveling with Bucs receiver Mike Evans, who just posted his 10th straight 1,000-yard season, one for each year he’s been in the league, a player Slay should be a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection when his career is over.

Eagles’ Darius Slay shares important announcement ahead of playoff run – A to Z Sports

“We’re here to support him to try to make sure we bring the calls to life,” said Slay about Patricia. “Anything you need me to do, if that’s me following Mike everywhere, I’ll do that. He knows that. Whatever I need to do to get the dub (win) I’ll do it.”

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