Eagles Wake-Up Call: State Of the Running Game

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles’ running back situation behind LeSean McCoy is a bit unsettled as preparations begin for Arizona.

Darren Sproles suffered an MCL sprain against the Giants before the bye. Chip Kelly suggested he could be out a week or two. Some feel that is an optimistic timeline. Either way, there needs to be a contingency plan if Sproles can’t suit up against the Cardinals, as expected.

Chris Polk plans on practicing in some capacity this week with the hope of playing Sunday. The third-year back hurt his hamstring against the Rams and was forced to sit the Giants game out. With Sproles and Polk sidelined, tight end Trey Burton got some carries late against the Giants when McCoy needed a breather.

The question facing the Eagles is this: Do they stand pat and hope Polk’s hamstring holds up, or do they make a move for insurance purposes? Read more »

Ryans: ‘We’ll See How It Goes’

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

DeMeco Ryans donned a helmet for the first time at practice this week, but said he likely won’t know until Sunday whether he’ll be able to play after suffering a groin strain against the Rams.

“When Sunday gets here, we’ll see how it feels,” he said. “If I can go, if I’m effective, feel like I can help my team, I’ll be out there. If I’m not, then I won’t be.”

On the Eagles’ official injury report, he was listed as limited.

“Just trying to get back to it, just trying to get back into where I can go full swing,” Ryans said. “Certain movements don’t feel too good. When I’m effective, I’ll be out there.” Read more »

Injury Updates On Kendricks, Ryans

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

It seemed like a positive sign for the Eagles Tuesday when Mychal Kendricks exchanged his baseball cap for a helmet and took part in the portion of practice open to the media.

But afterwards, DeMeco Ryans poured a bit of cold water on the possibility that Kendricks might return against the Giants. Read more »

Eagles Add Pistol To Toolbox For 2014

pistol_940

Chip Kelly believes his job is to provide players with answers.

If he hasn’t armed them with solutions to their on-field problems, he has come up short as a coach.

Last year, there were many answers as the Eagles had one of the top offenses in the league, setting franchise records in points, yards and a number of other categories. There were occasions, though, where opposing defensive coordinators stymied the Birds’ attack.

So the offseason has been about adding layers to the offense. The foundation remains the same: spread ‘em out and run the ball until the opponent forces you to do something else. But there will be new wrinkles added in 2014. Some might be obvious in four days when the Eagles host the Jaguars. We might not see others until November or later, depending on the rhythm of the season.

Either way, it seems likely that one of the wrinkles revealed itself in the preseason: the pistol. Read more »

Roster Analysis: Sizing Up the Offense

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

The Eagles made cuts today, trimming the roster down to 53 players in advance of the 4 p.m. deadline. Here’s a position-by-position look at what the squad looks like on offense. We’ll do the defense next.

Quarterbacks (3): Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley.

No surprises here. Those are your top three guys, with G.J. Kinne let go.

What’s interesting though is that the Eagles might not be totally done at quarterback. According to Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com, they seem to be fielding trade offers on Barkley. I’m not sure that the Eagles will get any suitors, but there could be a team or two that liked Barkley when he was coming out of USC and thinks about taking a flier on him.

Remember, the Eagles reportedly worked out former Bills and Browns QB Thad Lewis earlier this week.

Obviously, the top two spots will go to Foles and Sanchez. Read more »

Barner, Tucker Injured Against Jets

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Matthew Tucker and Kenjon Barner were hurt on back-to-back plays in the second quarter Thursday night against the Jets.

After a four-yard run off the left end, Tucker went to the sidelines and was clearly in discomfort. It was later revealed that he sustained a shoulder injury. Barner replaced Tucker and rushed for five yards on the next play but hurt his ankle on the run and limped off.  Tucker returned briefly but was still clearly hampered. Henry Josey and Damaris Johnson carried the load the rest of the way at running back. Josey finished with 121 yards on 22 carries (5.5 average).

Chris Polk practiced this week and was hoping to play even despite not being all the way back from a hamstring injury suffered early in training camp. But he sat out. After the game, he explained that the hamstring just wasn’t ready. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Polk Feeling the Heat

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Chris Polk told reporters Tuesday that his hamstring is not 100 percent healed and that he doesn’t feel very confident in the leg at the moment. In the next breath, he said he would be practicing next week.

Such is the life of a player on the fringe.

Polk suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain, or partial tear, on the second day of training camp. He heard a pop while making a hard cut and the hammy tightened up on him.

“I just felt like my world ended that day,” he said.

Polk has been unable to get back onto the practice field since.  Time is running out to convince the coaching staff that he deserves to be kept on the 53-man, as the final cuts are just 10 days away. Does he feel like his status is in jeopardy?

“Yeah,” he responded after a moment of thought. “There is nothing guaranteed. I wasn’t drafted. I’m not LeSean McCoy, Nick Foles. I’m not guaranteed anything.”

Those comments came hours before the Eagles acquired Kenjon Barner from the Panthers for a conditional seventh-round pick. Read more »

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