The Eagles began their preparation for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Bucs on Wednesday without quarterback Sam Bradford.
Bradford didn’t practice because he still hasn’t completed the concussion protocol or been cleared by an independent neurologist. Coach Chip Kelly said he didn’t know what stage Bradford was at in the protocol.
He said Bradford has been attending meetings at the NovaCare Complex but hasn’t been cleared to do any cardio work yet.
Mark Sanchez, who replaced Bradford on Sunday after he got hurt, was expected to take all the first-team reps in practice Wednesday. If Bradford can’t play Sunday, Sanchez will start and Thad Lewis will be the backup. Lewis started five games for Buffalo in 2013.
Kelly said there is no etched-in-stone cutoff point that Bradford would have to be cleared by to play Sunday.
“When he’s cleared, we’ll address that,’’ he said. “Until he’s cleared, we don’t sit around in meetings and say, what about this, what about that. Because he may not be cleared at all or he could be cleared this afternoon. When he gets cleared, then we’ll sit down and address it.’’
Running back Ryan Mathews, who also suffered a concussion in Sunday’s game, didn’t practice Wednesday, either. Like Bradford, he hasn’t completed the protocol or been cleared.
Bradford also suffered a Grade 2 AC joint sprain in his left (non-throwing) shoulder on the play he suffered the concussion. Kelly said he can’t tell how the shoulder is doing because Bradford hasn’t been able to do anything while going through the concussion protocol.
Also, optimism about left tackle Jason Peters returning Sunday against Tampa Bay faded a bit Wednesday when he wasn’t able to practice. Peters has missed the last two games because of a back injury.
Kelly acknowledged that Peters worked out before the game Sunday, but wasn’t able to go. “He was ruled out by the doctors,’’ Kelly said. “He wasn’t going to be able to play.’’
Asked whether Peters had suffered a setback, Kelly said, “That’s a good question. I just know he can’t go today.’’
Linebacker Connor Barwin, who injured his quad in the Miami game, didn’t practice Wednesday.
--Kelly on Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston: “I think he’s gotten better as the season has progressed. From Game 1 to where he is now, there’s a maturation process that’s going on with him. He’s making better decisions with the football. He’s been impressive in the last couple of games.’’
--Asked what the coaching staff can do to minimize Sanchez’s chances of throwing interceptions, Kelly said, “It’s a matter of putting him in situations in practice where we’re giving him the right coverages and the right schemes that he’s going to see, and how he executes in terms of what he’s supposed to do.’’