Chip Kelly Talks Referee Reassignment, Injuries

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

The injury news emerging from the NovaCare Complex on Thursday felt like a re-hash of the last two weeks. Sam Bradford keeps on progressing, while Ryan Mathews remains in the league’s concussion protocol.

Both players suffered injuries in the Eagles’ 20-19 loss to the Dolphins in Week 10.

Bradford has since been cleared from his concussion, and barring a setback to his left shoulder, he expects to return to action this weekend against the Patriots.

“[Bradford] threw yesterday, and he did a nice job,” Chip Kelly said today before practice. “Again, I think it’s the residual part of it. Is he any more sore? We’ve got another big day of throwing today, so we’ll see where he is, and then kind of figure out what goes on with Friday and Saturday.”

As far as Mathews is concerned, the running back has effectively been off the team’s radar, not appearing at practices since his concussion.

Kelly said he’s unsure which stage of the league’s concussion protocol Mathews has reached, because he says he doesn’t ask his trainers.

“They just tell me when [players are] cleared,” Kelly said. “I don’t even know if there are grades with concussions. I know with the shoulder, there’s grade one, grade two, grade three.

“I just know he’s in the concussion protocol, and when they clear him to play, he’ll come back. It’s not any issue, especially with that type of injury, that we want to force the issue.”

The Eagles have averaged 102 rushing yards per game since Mathews’ concussion; in the five weeks prior, they were averaging 155.2 rushing yards per game.

“We have less depth [at running back], and I think, when we have been successful, we have two big, physical backs back there,” Kelly said. “We’re missing a key cog in that right now.”

A few more injury updates from Thursday’s practice:

Elsewhere on the injury front: Cedric Thornton (ankle) was limited Thursday after sitting out the day prior. Walter Thurmond (hamstring) returned to action and was a full participant. WR Nelson Agholor (hip), WR Seyi Ajirotutu (calf), TE Zach Ertz (concussion), WR Josh Huff (concussion), T Lane Johnson (shoulder), C Jason Kelce (knee), T Dennis Kelly (ankle) and T Jason Peters (back, ankle) practiced in full.

As for the Patriots:


On Tuesday, the NFL reportedly decided to remove Pete Morelli‘s refereeing crew from the Sunday Night Football matchup because of egregious errors made in the Week 12 game between the Cardinals and 49ers. The crew was then reassigned to the Eagles’ game against the Patriots this Sunday. Kelly was asked Thursday about his thoughts on the decision to reassign a crew being disciplined for errors to his team’s game, and whether the NFL explained the decision to him.

“They just sent an email saying that we have a new crew for our game,” Kelly said, plainly. He added that he has never had a problem with a crew in his two and a half years in the league.

“There’s 17 crews, and I’ve never had a problem with one,” Kelly said. “They’re all very professional, they all work extremely hard on what they do. I don’t even know where [Morelli] was before, or what happened, or why they got reassigned.

“There’s going to be a crew out there, and I’m sure they’re going to do whatever they can to prepare and get ready for us on Sunday. “I know we haven’t had [Morelli’s] crew this year, but that’s not any concern.”


In answering an innocuous question about his time spent with defensive units during the week, Kelly revealed an interesting tidbit about how much time his coaching staff spends at the NovaCare Complex.

Get some sleep, Chip!