Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sticking with L.J.

From Ed Barkowitz at the NovaCare Complex:

Sticking with L.J.

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Eagles tight end Brent Celek catches a pass for 39 yards with Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux defending during the third quarter Sunday in Seattle. Celek had 131 yards on six catches during the Eagles´ 26-7 win, but won´t start against the Giants. (AP<br />Photo / John Froschauer)
Eagles tight end Brent Celek catches a pass for 39 yards with Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux defending during the third quarter Sunday in Seattle. Celek had 131 yards on six catches during the Eagles' 26-7 win, but won't start against the Giants. (AP Photo / John Froschauer)

From Ed Barkowitz at the NovaCare Complex:

L.J. Smith, who missed the Seahawks game with a concussion, is expected to practice Wednesday.

If Smith is cleared to play, he will start Sunday against the Giants despite Brent Celek’s huge game against the Seahawks. Celek had 131 receiving yards, a record for an Eagles tight end in a regular season game.

As part of his opening statement at his day-after news conference, coach Andy Reid used a few moments to talk about Smith before a question was even asked.

"L.J. attracts so much attention that the obvious question is, why isn’t L.J. getting the same number of yards, but he attracts so much attention and Celek comes in and he’s kind of an unknown guy, so there were times where they didn’t do a great job of covering him," Reid said. "I’m not taking anything away from him because I thought that he played his heart out, and when he did have man-to-man situations, which he had three of those, he dominated there. He did a great job. I know what the obvious question is and it has nothing to do with L.J.’s play. It’s just L.J. is one of those guys that everybody talks about and the other team is very aware of, and they make sure that they either put one guy on him at all times or two guys."

When asked later about whether Smith was the starter, Reid said: "L.J.’s a starter when he comes back, and hopefully it works out for him with his head. He’s making progress, just getting him back in there. We’ll see come Wednesday, but he’s getting ready.”

In other injury news, Lito Sheppard sustained a strained groin and is not expected to practice Wednesday. Jason Avant, who did not play with a muscle strain in his neck, is expected to practice.

Guard Shawn Andrews is being evaluated today in California and that will determine whether he returns to Philadelphia following back surgery.

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