Notes: Sam Bradford Expects To Play Sunday
Standing at his locker after today’s practice, Sam Bradford said he expects to play on Sunday against the New England Patriots.
“I hope so,” he said with a chuckle. “Barring any setbacks, I expect to. But at the end of the day, that’s going to be up to coach and the training staff, if they feel I’m ready to go out there and play at a high level.”
The quarterback fully participated in practice and said he probably could’ve played if the game was today.
Bradford, who was mired in concussion protocol before the Eagles’ loss to Tampa Bay, and still rehabbing his left shoulder before their Thanksgiving defeat against Detroit, could play this weekend for the first time since Week 10.
He said he made a push to play against the Lions on Thanksgiving, but “with the way it felt during the week, and then the way it felt Thursday, I think after talking to coach and the training staff, they just didn’t feel like it was ready.”
In the six-plus quarters of football Bradford played between the team’s bye week and his injury, he looked much more comfortable in Chip Kelly‘s system. He was 44-of-61 for 531 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, averaging 8.7 yards per attempt.
He said today that he had begun to settle into the system and find things he was comfortable with, getting through his progressions, and then, wham, injury struck.
“I was feeling like in the past couple of games, before I got hurt, I was playing really well,” Bradford said.
Bradford explained that it was tough to watch his team struggle through what was thought to be the easiest part of their schedule, but he feels good about their chances despite their 4-7 record with five weeks to go.
“The good news is, we’re only a game back in our division,” Bradford said. “Obviously, the season hasn’t gone the way we had hoped for, but with that being said, we’re still in a position to get on a roll here and make the playoffs. But, like you said, every game from here on out is critical, and I think we’re all aware.
“You’ve got to try and hang on to the positives and know that we can still get this thing turned around, and I think everyone in this locker room truly believes that.”
RYANS ON ACCOUNTABILITY
The buzzword around NovaCare this week has been “accountability.” Yesterday, Malcolm Jenkins said there might not be enough of it while Kelly said there was plenty this morning.
After today’s practice, DeMeco Ryans was asked for his take on the way the Eagles handle correcting mistakes in smaller, focused groups, rather than en masse.
“Everybody has their different style of how things are ran, how corrections are handled. How we handle our corrections here is the individual position coach handles the individual room,” Ryans said.
“I know our room, we had a rough meeting yesterday. Everything was hammering everybody. We had a tough meeting because everybody was held accountable in our room, and I know that goes for each room. The outside backers, the d-line, the defensive backs. Everybody is getting told what they need to be told. It’s just a matter of us, as players, going out and correcting our mistakes, and going out and playing the way we’re capable of playing.
“It doesn’t matter, to me, who the message comes from, whether it’s Billy [Davis] or your position coach, as long as the message gets along. I think we’re fine in what we’re doing.”
CELEK BACKS CHIP
Roughly 31 months ago, before he played a snap for Kelly, Brent Celek went out on a limb and said his coach would rock the NFL’s world, for the better.
“From a communications standpoint, it’s going to change the league,” Celek said at the time. “I’m not going to tell you guys how, but it will. Just the way that they can communicate plays in and get us the stuff, it’s pretty cool. It’s something that I never even thought was possible in the NFL. Seeing the stuff he’s doing, he has a reason why he does everything that he does, and a reason why each play is called what it is. And it all makes sense.”
On Wednesday, with the Eagles on a three-game skid and rumors swirling about the future of the Chip Kelly era, Celek was asked if he’s had any second thoughts on his full-steam-ahead confidence in Kelly.
Does he still back his head coach the way he did in April of 2013?
“One hundred percent,” Celek said Wednesday. “Any time you have any adversity, people are always going to question everything. That’s life. You have to stick to what you believe in, and I believe in him. I know this team believes in him. Everything I said from the very beginning, I still believe. I think he’s a great coach, and I think he can lead us to great things.
“Is it frustrating? Yeah. We still have to work, give it everything we’ve got, and try to turn this thing around because we still do have a chance with the way the division’s going. But most importantly, we’ve got to fix it ourselves, first.”
Ryan Mathews (concussion), Cedric Thornton (ankle), and Walter Thurmond (calf, hamstring) did not practice. Nelson Agholor (hip) was a limited participant. Thurmond told reporters after practice that he’s been dealing with the hamstring issue for a few weeks, and isn’t concerned about playing through it again this weekend.
The offensive line is banged up too, as Lane Johnson (shoulder), Jason Kelce (knee), Dennis Kelly (ankle) and Jason Peters (back, ankle) were all on the injury report. However, each of them were full participants.