Chip On State of the Receivers
A frustrated Josh Huff told reporters yesterday that he has been ready to play for the last week-and-a-half. Not so, says Chip Kelly.
“He wasn’t ready to go physically or mentally last week. He knew that. We talked to him on Friday, told him what his status was and that he wasn’t going to be active on Sunday,” he said. “Last week was his first full week practicing, and then didn’t actually practice all through Wednesday, took a shot and was out for a couple plays. We have to make sure that he is 100 percent healthy physically and mentally to go play.”
This may simply be a case of a competitor itching to get back onto the field. Huff injured his shoulder against the Bears in the preseason and has been out of game action since. He was working with the third team during the portion of practice open to the media Tuesday. At one point it looked like he was working through some pain as he kept bending over while keeping his left arm limp. Those waiting for Huff to come in and be a difference maker for this offense might have to wait a little longer.
In the meanwhile, Riley Cooper is the starting outside receiver opposite Jeremy Maclin. Cooper has 15 catches on 26 targets for 125 yards (8.3 YPC) and no touchdowns. Kelly was asked to give his evaluation of Cooper through four games.
“I think Riley has done a nice job when called upon,” he said. “He’s got two drops through four games. He’s actually ahead of his production from last year at this time. Sometimes catches and gains come in bunches, but I’ve been pleased with Riley so far.”
Jordan Matthews (15 catches for 141 yards and two scores) has been a little more productive. As the season progresses, could you add more to his plate and have him play outside?
“Could you? Yeah. Are we? No,” Kelly responded. “He’s playing slot receiver for us right now. To move him outside, that doesn’t help us in terms of where we are. We need to have a big, physical slot in there, that’s really what we’re looking to do right now and he’s still got a long ways to go as a slot receiver.”
Does he have the skill set to play outside?
“Yeah, he’s got the skill set to play outside just like those outside guys have the skill set to play inside. I mean, just to move people for the sake of moving people, that doesn’t make us a better football team.”
Jeremy Maclin and James Casey returned to practice after getting the day off Tuesday. Mychal Kendricks (calf) went through some of the conditioning work and hit the sled a little bit but did so in a baseball cap. Brandon Boykin (hamstring) sat out.
As far as Nick Foles‘ non-throwing shoulder, Kelly said: “He hasn’t had [an MRI or x-ray]. He just got banged in the shoulder. Hasn’t missed a day of practice, hasn’t missed a rep throwing.”