Saturday, September 13, 2014, 4:31pm
LB Jerrell Freeman (hamstring), G Joe Reitz (ankle)
DT Josh Chapman (ankle), C Khaled Holmes (ankle), DT Arthur Jones (shoulder)
For the Colts, Ahmad Bradshaw and Reggie Wayne appear as probable ( both not injury related) and practiced fully on Friday and Saturday. Bradshaw is expected to split carries with Trent Richardson and Wayne has a great matchup against the Eagles secondary.
Monday, September 8, 2014, 6:24pm
Eagles RB LeSean McCoy led the NFL with 314 carries last season, which began with him carrying the ball 31 times in the opener at Washington. Against Jacksonville this year, McCoy ran the ball 21 times for 74 yards. He also had six catches for 41 yards.
Overall, McCoy played 58 of the Eagles’ 87 offensive plays, or 67 percent. Darren Sproles was on the field for 33 offensive plays plus eight special teams plays. Sproles carried the ball 11 times for 71 yards and caught four passes for 14 yards.
Last year with the Saints, Sproles never carried the ball more than eight times in a game. When the Eagles acquired Sproles in a trade in March, coach Chip Kelly stressed that he viewed Sproles as a running back rather than a pass catcher.
“I think he’s an outstanding running back,” Kelly said. “He proved it [Sunday] and it’s nothing he hadn’t proved from the first two or three days we saw him out here in the offseason program. He’s really, really talented. You’ve got to find ways to get the football in his hands.”
The story points out that Kelly used Sproles and McCoy on the field together sparingly, but that was because of the Jaguars’ defensive response. If the Jaguars played more man-to-man defense, the Eagles might have used the two backs together more often. Sproles was more effective as a runner especially during their second half comeback. A big part of Sproles' yards came on the TD run, but keep in it was a fourth down play where the Eagles rushed to the line with little response from the Jags tired defense. Still, Sproles looks like he's going to get some rushes among his catches and punt returns, which could give him some value in typical PPR leagues rather than just deep ones.
Monday, September 8, 2014, 8:46am
Last season the Eagles offensive line threw a perfect game, starting the same five players in every single game the team played.
Well, the season is just one week old, and they are already getting hit around -- and the problems could just be getting started.
The extent of the injury Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis suffered when running back LeSean McCoy rolled over his leg on Sunday in the team's 34-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars is not yet known, but the news is not expected to be good.
It seems that best case scenario, Mathis misses the next few weeks with an injury to his MCL. Worst case, Mathis is lost for the season to an ACL injury.
Either way, the Eagles have seen their once rock-solid offensive line go from one of the best units on the team to a major question mark just one week into the season.
McCoy didn't finish with great number while Darren Sproles seemed to find some success. But even Sproles' long TD run came on a play where the Jags weren't set as the Eagles rushed to the line on fourth down. The Birds will get suspended right tackle Lane Johnson back Week 5 but until then it could knock McCoy down a few notches...
Thursday, September 4, 2014, 6:23pm
Eagles RB Chris Polk (hamstring) took full practice reps again Thursday. Polk was on the roster bubble but made the team. Darren Sproles is technically the RB2 behind LeSean McCoy, but Polk could settle into a large role if McCoy were sidelined for any length of time.
Why? The presence of Darren Sproles.
"I think with Sproles here it might change a little bit," McCoy said. "Now, I’m sure that if the game gets tight and you need to ride me, yeah I’m the guy for it, but I think with just a mix up with Sproles doing different things, sometimes a 5-yard carry can be the same as 5-yard route with Sproles. And I’m learning that it doesn’t take a lot of reps or a lot of lot of touches to get or be more productive or get what you want done, and you can do it with less."
Sproles was acquired in a trade with New Orleans this offseason. His role in the offense has been kept under wraps, but the Eagles have shown glimpses. Sproles has been deadly on the wheel route in Training Camp and nearly scored a touchdown on it in the preseason versus the Steelers except quarterback Nick Foles' pass was just out of Sproles' reach.
We currently have McCoy projected for 306 carries and 43 catches, which represents about a 5% drop from his 366 touches in 2013. It's going to be interesting to see how Chip Kelly uses Sproles, who has intriguing flex appeal in PPR formats.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 7:02pm
Eagles RB Chris Polk (hamstring) practiced fully Wednesday. Polk was on the roster bubble but made the team. Darren Sproles is technically the RB2 behind LeSean McCoy, but Polk could settle into a large role if McCoy were sidelined for any length of time.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 9:45pm
Darren Sproles could not contain his smile. He did not want to reveal what Eagles coach Chip Kelly has planned for him in the offense this season. He would only admit that his preseason totals of nine carries and three catches were not even a glimpse of what's to come when the Eagles open the season Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"We haven't shown anything yet," Sproles said.
Teammates volunteer praise for Sproles. The 31-year-old veteran is a diligent worker who fits in the Eagles' locker room culture. But when asked how Sproles would be used, those teammates became similarly mum.
"Y'all just need to wait and see," quarterback Nick Foles said.
Sproles would only say that Eagles fans would like what's to come. The story went on to say the Eagles are committed to using him in the running game, which Sproles has said is one different way he expects to be used. The LeSean McCoy-Sproles package is also going to be a wrinkle. The Eagles want to create mismatches for Sproles with linebackers, so where they align him and move him before the snap will be involve the intricacies that the team has kept veiled so far.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 3:37pm
Even without Lane Johnson for the first four games, the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive line still has plenty of firepower. Johnson will miss the first four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
But with Allen Barbre likely filling in alongside Evan Mathis, Jason Peters, Todd Herremans and center Jason Kelce, the Eagles' offensive line should be quite strong.
“I feel really good about the progress we've made and how we've played as a unit and how we will play as a unit,” Mathis, an All-Pro left guard, told the Philadelphia Daily News. “I see everything being better. It's not brand new to us anymore. We have experience doing it. If there's anything any of us had flaws at, we've worked really hard at correcting those, as well as improving on every other aspect of the game.”
Running back LeSean McCoy led the league in rushing last season with 1,607 yards. Quarterback Nick Foles threw 27 touchdowns, two interceptions and compiled a passer rating of 119.2. The line was a big part of that and has turned into a strength of the team, especially in Chip Kelly's offense that runs a lot of plays. McCoy is a top back this year and Foles is expected to have another great season, although a 27-2 ratio probably shouldn't be expected.
The guy who is going to make you forget about Jackson isn't even a wide receiver. He's a tight end. He's Zach Ertz.
And while you might think I'm jumping the gun mentioning somebody who has played only 459 NFL snaps in the same breath with three of the most dangerous pass-catching tight ends in the NFL, Ertz has that kind of ability, that kind of upside.
"You knew when you watched him in college that he had the chance to be something special," Eagles tight ends coach Ted Williams said. "He's one of the best route-runners I've ever seen. He takes a lot of pride in that. He has a lot of confidence. He's hard to defeat, because he doesn't take defeat very well. He feels, 'You can't cover me.' "
Ertz was eased into the offense as a rookie last season by coach Chip Kelly. He played 36 percent of the offensive snaps in the Eagles' first eight games and 45 percent in the final eight. Finished with 36 catches - 25 for first downs - for 469 yards and four touchdowns. All four of those scoring catches came in the second half of the season. He also had a touchdown reception in the Eagles' playoff loss to New Orleans.
Domowitch is one of the Eagles better beat writers, so there's something to what he's saying. He points out that without Jackson the Eagles' passing game is expected to undergo a slight transformation this season. In preseason Week 3, the Birds had four TDs of nine plays or more - five fewer than they had all season. Domo said to look for fewer deep balls and more bubble screens and slants by the wide receivers and more screens and wheel routes by running backs LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. The only thing holding back Ertz this season is teammate Brent Celek possibly taking away some targets, but Ertz still figures to be a low-end TE1 and should be drafted ahead of Celek. The writer believes both Celek and Ertz are in for increased workloads.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 12:05pm
Both could both land on the practice squad if they don’t last past final cuts, but there could be other teams willing to snatch them for their 53-man rosters. Josey has rushed 12 times for 104 yards in the preseason. He had a 70-yard, one-shoe TD jaunt brought back by a penalty. He’s swift and can also catch the ball out of the backfield (three catches for 39 yards and a TD). Both Tucker and Josey have looked willing and capable as blockers.
"That's coach's call," Gash said, referring to how Mike McCarthy intends to use Lacy. "But I have trained him as a three-down back. He will be ready to go."
Monday, August 25, 2014, 11:09am
With Josh Huff, Barner’s former college teammate, also banged up, there’s a chance Barner could work into the mix in the return game as well.
Barner returned punts and kicks in college but hasn’t done it regularly since his freshman year in Eugene. He did have a 22-yard kick return against the Steelers and a fair catch on a punt.
Polk's status is very much in question at this point. He looked to be a sure handcuff to McCoy and the team's RB3, but that continues to be up in the air heading into preseason Week 4.
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was sporting a wrap around his injured right thumb at Sunday's training session, but said afterwards that it will be fine for the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
There probably wasn't a lot of doubt but it's good to know he gave the 'thumbs up,' especially after saying he was in some pain after injuring it in preseason Week 3.
Eagles RB Chris Polk is being pulled in two different directions as his third season in the NFL sits just two weeks away. On the one hand, Polk wants to be healthy for the start of the regular season – a season in which, at least a month ago, the expectation was that he would be the Eagles’ No. 3 running back. On the other hand, after missing about a month with a hamstring injury, Polk now needs to prove that he can be counted on when the season does begin.
“I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason,” Polk said Saturday after returning to practice for the first time since suffering the injury. “You know, I can’t control (injuries), so I’m very optimistic. It could be a blessing in disguise. Maybe (the injury) gave me time to work on my shoulder and gave me time to work on other areas, whether it’s studying, getting stronger, faster, whatever. I’m definitely just taking positives out of everything. It just really slowed down and really put everything in perspective for me. Even though I’m not playing, I still watch every carry that every single running back we had (took during the preseason), and I try to envision myself what I would have done, so I wouldn’t fall behind. I’m here now.”
But after hearing head coach Chip Kelly say that the team is still trying to “find out who the third running back is going to be” following the Eagles’ third preseason game, Polk knows he has to do something.
"It definitely hurts," McCoy said after the game. “But there have been times I’ve been banged up and it turns out fine. We’ll see what happens.”
McCoy said he injured the thumb a few plays prior to his 22-yard touchdown reception against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In some ways that is an encouraging sign for Eagles fans, as McCoy seemed to show no signs of injury as he carried the ball in his right hand during the scoring play.
"I was talking to him on the sideline and he seemed to be in good spirits, so I don’t think it’s a big deal," said head coach Chip Kelly after the game.
We're not concerned about the thumb, though it's something to monitor over the next few days. McCoy is primed for another top 3 season.
- Page 1