Sproles, Kendricks, Kelce Suit Up For Practice

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Chip Kelly was asked to provide a health update at the start of his press conference Tuesday.

“They’re all back,” he said.

Well, almost. Darren Sproles (MCL), Mychal Kendricks (calf) and Jason Kelce (sports hernia) were all in uniform and participated in warm-ups at the start of practice. Chris Polk (hamstring) was out there as well. Evan Mathis has been cleared for a return but by rule is not able to practice until tomorrow. Brad Smith (abdomen) was the only player sidelined because of injury. Read more »

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 »

All-22: New Wrinkle Sparks Eagles Run Game

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Through the first five games, it seemed everyone had a different reason for why the Eagles’ run game was struggling.

Most pointed to the injuries on the offensive line. Some suggested LeSean McCoy was injured or had lost a step. And others simply figured it was out how defenses were playing the Eagles.

But there was another factor at play, one that the coaching staff could control. During the Week 4 loss to the 49ers, there were indications that San Francisco knew some of what was coming. Against St. Louis, to a lesser extent, there were similar sentiments.

“They knew what plays were coming,” said Lane Johnson after the win over the Rams.

“I just think defenses have more knowledge of what’s coming. Last year everything was so new, and I think they’ve kind of seen a lot of what we do, so just moving forward, we’ll probably throw in a few more wrinkles.”

Chip Kelly would not be offended by Johnson’s comments. The Eagles’ offense is based on running a series of foundation plays effectively, dressing them up differently and moving at a fast pace. The problem at times this season has been that defenses have game-planned well against those foundation plays. Because of injuries up front and inconsistent quarterback play, the offense has not run as smoothly.

But against the Giants, a team that limited McCoy to 94 yards on 35 carries in two meetings last year with an inside stunt, Kelly broke out some wrinkles that helped jump-start the run game and the offense as a whole. Read more »

Wake-Up Call: Eagles In Good Spot After Six

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Jason Kelce hung out in the corner of the Eagles’ locker room Sunday night, checking his phone and congratulating his teammates.

The Birds’ center would have loved to have been in uniform competing against the Giants. But after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia injury, Kelce instead spent the game on the sideline next to his buddy Evan Mathis, his offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and others.

This wasn’t how most observers envisioned the first six games going. Kelce went down in Week 3. Evan Mathis suffered a knee injury in Week 1. And Mychal Kendricks went down in Week 2. Quarterback Nick Foles has 10 turnovers (seven interceptions, three fumbles). LeSean McCoy (Sunday notwithstanding) has come nowhere close to matching last year’s production. And while the defense looks improved, it’s still an inconsistent unit.

Yet here the Eagles are at the bye tied for the best record in the NFL at 5-1. Read more »

Sproles Has MCL Sprain

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

The Eagles will not be without Darren Sproles for long.

“He’s got an MCL sprain,” said Chip Kelly. “We’ll see how long it’s going to be. Could be a week or two. Could be back after…we have a week off, so he’ll get treatment and we’ll assess him when we get back next Tuesday.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: A Giant Statement

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA Today

The Giants waited until the home team was off the field before gathering at the 50-yard line at the conclusion of warm-ups, their cleats digging into the Eagles’ logo. Led by Jason Pierre-Paul, a handful of players began stomping up and down on the emblem in a clear sign of defiance.

When Chip Kelly‘s crew returned and the game began, not a sliver more of disrespect was permitted. And it was the Eagles that did the stompin’ on their way to a 27-0 win and a 5-1 record.

“They can do all that,” said Lane Johnson, “but it’s basically whatever happens between the whistles that counts. We did that tonight; they didn’t.” Read more »

Sproles Leaves With Knee Injury

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Sproles was tackled awkwardly to the ground late in the third quarter and suffered a left knee injury.

It occurred during a four-yard run off the left tackle. Sproles’ left leg got stuck behind him as defensive tackle Markus Kuhn wrangled him to the ground. Sproles was able to walk off on his own but was sent to the locker room after a brief examination by trainers on the sideline. LeSean McCoy was by Sproles’ side as he got looked over on the trainers table and offered words of encouragement before he walked indoors.

“It made me pretty mad, the way it was on the field, kind a cheap-shot kind of deal,” said right tackle Lane Johnson. “He’s a key part to our offense, too. I don’t know what the verdict is on his injury — I think they’ll find out more tomorrow — but I don’t think it looks good.”

Sproles has been one of the team’s most valuable players through six games.  He had 32 yards and a touchdown on the ground and four punt returns for 57 yards before exiting.

Chris Polk (hamstring) did not dress. Trey Burton worked with the running backs this week and got a few carries down the stretch when McCoy needed a breather.

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