Boykin Remains Sidelined With Concussion

Eagles Cornerback Brandon Boykin facing the field
Three defensive backs — Brandon Boykin, Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson — stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the sidelines, all spectators as their teammates continued their preparations for the Bears Wednesday.

Boykin has yet to be cleared after suffering a concussion in Minnesota. This is a significant injury to watch for the Eagles, who are about to face a daunting Bears receiving duo in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.

“It’s a huge challenge,” said Chip Kelly, “and no one is going to give us a waiver because we’re banged up. It’s part of what this deal is all about. We look at it as an opportunity for us to go out and compete against them, and that’s what we got — a bunch of competitive guys, competitive coaches that want to go challenge themselves, and there’s no better group of receivers to challenge yourself with than the guys that they can put out there in Marshall and Jeffery.”


Coleman (hamstring) and Anderson (knee) are not critical pieces of the defense, but their absence could be felt on special teams. Anderson is considered a special teams ace, and the Eagles have the challenge of containing Devin Hester.  Keelan Johnson was signed off the practice squad this week. Kelly said they made the move because they knew they would be down a safety for this game, but would not say which one.

Earl Wolff (knee) practiced for the second consecutive day. He expects to play, but will likely be eased back in. That means a lot of the snaps will fall to the struggling Patrick Chung.

-- Kelly was asked if he agrees with Cary Williams' theory that the loss to Minnesota was a good thing for this team.

"I don't think that any loss is a good thing," said Kelly. "But I think every situation you're in you can learn from. I think that's a very valid point. Losses happen, wins happen, you have to learn from all your experiences and then get ready for your next game."

-- The head coach was asked about his players' mentality this week coming off that loss.

"I think our guys are very consistent in their approach. They were the same way when we were 3-5. That's how I knew we had a good group of guys that are very serious about what we are trying to get accomplished here."

 

 

  • pjcostello

    I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot of 3-3-5 alignment on defense, to effectively double the outside receivers and try to keep Forte in check.

    • Richard Colton

      Who are you taking out of the front 7?

      • pjcostello

        I’m not in favor of the alignment, myself, just guessing that we’ll see it. My guess is that Trent Cole comes off the field in that alignment, replaced by a corner or safety (depending on who is healthy). I would rather go with a 4-man line for this game — and give the Cowboys something to think about, as well.

    • theycallmerob

      I’d personally play to our strengths; still have to shut Forte down, hope the pressure gets home. The “5″ in your 3-3-5 scare the hell out of me (Sconces, Fletch, Roc/Chung, Allen, Wolff? Keelan last man on bench)
      One positive is that the chi OL is pretty bad, and Cutler makes mistakes. I’d rather they try and get home as much as possible, and pray those back guys can win a few jump balls.

      ….any chance of snow this weekend?

      • pjcostello

        I heard this morning a forecast of 61 degrees at kickoff!!!

        • theycallmerob

          61? damn, didn’t need the long underwear…

          • Adam

            Read somewhere the Foles was pretty excited to hear that when a beat writer told him.

      • nicksaenz1

        Rain.

  • Andy124

    Do Brandon and Alshon, (we’ve got the ‘Seans, they’ve got the ‘ons’, let’s hope their off) stay on the outside most of the time or do they get moved around and play in the slot much?

    • GEAGLE

      Not sure, but I do KNOW I wouldn’t even want Boykins on them..I don’t care where they line up, Cary and Brad have to always be matched up with those two, so losing Boykin isn’t that big deal on defense this week. heck, I wish they would not throw at Marshall or Alshon so they can attack our 3rd CB…be my guest..

      It think Connar and Kemdricks can do a solid job on Martellus

      This week, I’m more worried about not having Boykin on ST

    • D-Von Funk

      I’ve seen a handful of Bears games this year and from what I can recall, they do play Marshall in the slot, but Jeffery plays almost exclusively on the outside. Someone correct me if I’m wrong…

    • theycallmerob

      this sums it up pretty well. in a word….yes.

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1882469-breaking-down-alshon-jefferys-tremendous-slot-production-for-the-chicago-bears

      actually a very good article overall. one quick snippet from the end, for the lazy among us:

      It seems every time the Bears line Jeffery up in the slot with Marshall on the same side, opponents are stuck in a pickle. They can’t double two receivers on one side of the field, and when Jeffery is left in man coverage, he is making defenses pay.

      Although he’s only been targeted 21 times in the slot, Jeffery has four touchdowns from there this season, the fourth-highest mark in the league.

  • GEAGLE

    I know they want to Ease Wolff in, but when bullets start firing, and their options are Chung or Wolff, I think Wolff will end up playing more…
    ..
    I was hoping that he had been taking mental reps while injured, and I was thrilled to hear him say that he took the time while injured to learn what the rest of the defense is doing on every play, which he didn’t have a good grasp on before the injury…that should serve him well

  • D-Von Funk

    *IF* Boykin can’t go, it’s a big blow (obviously), but especially when you consider Cutler’s comfort level with Earl Bennett. I think that match-up could be an x-factor in this game. He’s burned us before. Needless to say, I don’t like Roc’s chances there. I actually like the match-up with our outside corners against bigger, stronger wideouts (ala Marshall & Jeffery) better than smaller, quicker, more explosive wideouts (ala Jennings & Patterson), for what it’s worth.

    It will be a stern test for our D without our top cover guy, no doubt, and it’s plain to see that that O poses some real match-up concerns. That is a physically imposing offense we’re about to face. We need to gash that swiss cheese run D of theirs. If we hope to come out with a W, we need to pound the rock all day, set up p-action, and hope for some big plays. However, given our recent history against Da Bears, I worry about this one… Who wants it more???

    • Adam

      Long, sustained, scoring drives will be the key. Keep the defense fresh, I feel like they can come up with some stops if given some reset and a long field. I think Cutler can be pressured, and I think we have a chance at forcing him to make some mistakes.

      One thing I noticed about the difference between McCown and Cutler, McCown was much better with his reads and spreading the ball around. Cutler has a major tendency to favor and stare down Brandon Marshall, which is pretty criminal considering how good Jeffery is. That’s our opening right there to get some INT’s.

      I think our offenses can go shot for shot, but I like D’s chances a bit better to come up with a stop. Then again, I thought we’d be able to stop Minny last week. So who knows.

      • nicksaenz1

        I’m a little happier about facing Cutler than McCown for the reasons you mentioned. He only threw 1 pick in his 5 games, whereas Cutler threw 2 right away in his first game back. Cutler can definitely be forced into some picks, so that should give us an edge, IF we can force him into some happy feet.

      • D-Von Funk

        Long, sustained scoring drives?? Forgive me, but I haven’t seen a whole lot of those this year, and I don’t expect to start seeing them now all of a sudden. In fact it seems to run counter to Chip’s whole offensive philosophy. Don’t get me wrong, I totally agree with you on that point. And given how atrocious Chicago’s run D has been, it seems clear that that NEEDS to be our strategy. Whether or not Chip adheres to that, is another story.

        As for Cutler tending to lock in on Marshall at times, that’s true, and that does work in our favor, but I also think with Cutler back at the helm, Earl Bennett could see more looks, which goes back to my initial point about me not liking that match-up vs. Roc in the slot.

        Finally, in regards to pressuring Cutler, we first have to acknowledge just how well Chicago’s offensive line has played; its rookie right side, in particular. Cutler hasn’t been easy to get to behind those guys, and we haven’t always had success getting to the passer. I fully expect Billy to dial up the blitz in order to accomplish that, but few backs are better catching the ball out of the backfield and in the screen game than Matt Forte. So anyone thinking this game will be anything but brutally tough, I think is in for a rude awakening.

        • Mr. Magee

          Wow… couldn’t agree more. It’ll be a miracle, IMO, if the Bears don’t light up our D. Assuming weather is not a factor, this should be a high scoring game.

  • cliff henny

    how about some offensive articles, ones on D are depressing

    • nicksaenz1

      Our secondary is offensive.

  • jcwhy

    BRAD SMITH was brought in for a reason. let him handle return duties! please!

  • PaoliBulldog

    Forgive me for not being optimistic about the Eagles’ reserve defensive backs. Maybe the Seahawks will lend us one.