This will not play well with the large portion of the fan base that was not on board with drafting a 26-year-old guard to begin with.
Andy Reid revealed Friday that Danny Watkins‘ ankle, the one that will likely sideline him for Sunday’s pivotal game against Atlanta, is “chronic.”
“Danny has kind of a chronic ankle and he has had it for years,” said Reid after Friday’s practice. “He disturbed it in the last game and he thought it would be fine, and it didn’t work out. He came back Monday and practiced, Wednesday he practiced and he just didn’t feel right. So back him up and let the thing settle down.”
Reid said he thinks Watkins will be OK in the long term, but the news that this has been a lingering issue certainly raises some questions, if not some red flags.
“He tweaked it in the game. He had an issue with it years ago and then he tweaked it again,” said Reid.
Watkins is officially listed as doubtful, meaning Dennis Kelly is in line for his first NFL start. The 6-8 Kelly played tackle at Purdue, but will try guard on for size Sunday.
“I’ve been preparing all week if I have to start, but if Danny plays that’s great,” said Kelly. “I’ve just been trying to mentally prepare myself to play.”
Howard Mudd likes Kelly’s mix of size and athleticism, allowing him to get into the oncoming defenders and “smother” them. Prior to April’s draft, several interested coaches suggested that he might be a good fit as a guard rather than a tackle.
“He’ s been taking reps inside for the last six, seven weeks,” said Todd Herremans. “He’s young and hungry and excited to play. I’m excited to be out there with him.”
The size doesn’t always work to your advantage as an offensive lineman, especially if your quarterback is on the shorter side. Will the 6-8 Kelly hurt Michael Vick’s ability to see the field and get his throws out?
“I actually hadn’t thought about it until you said it,” said Kelly. “But you know, playing guard you have to concentrate on being low. If that means I have to be a little bit lower, than we might as well work on it.”