Thursday, December 25, 2014

Cooper returns to practice; Maclin set to return Monday

Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper (foot) returned to practice on Sunday, and Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) is slated to be a full participant on Monday.

Cooper returns to practice; Maclin set to return Monday

Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

Wide receiver Riley Cooper, who missed most of training camp and both preseason games with a foot injury, is set to fully participate in Sunday’s practice at the NovaCare Complex, coach Chip Kelly said before the team hit the field.

Jeremy Maclin (hamstring) is slated to fully participate on Monday, Kelly said, adding the Eagles’ top receiver “should do something today so we’ll see where he is.” Maclin did not play in Friday’s preseason loss to the Patriots after experiencing hamstring tightness in Thursday’s joint practice with the Patriots in Foxborough.

Kelly said cornerback Cary Williams, who left the Patriots’ game with hamstring tightness, is likely to also return as a full participant on Monday.

“If we had to play a game, Mac could play. If we had to play a game last night, Cary could have played,” Kelly said. “Some of these, in terms of what they are, are Grade 1 mild. But to put Cary back in the game, I think we know that Cary’s going to be our starting corner when we play against the Jaguars (on Sept. 7). So it’s a chance to get other guys some repetitions. The hamstring issue isn’t a big concern for us, I know that.”

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In a development Kelly did not mention, LeSean McCoy was not wearing a helmet or shells when the team started practice today. The reasons for McCoy not practicing are not yet known, but it could just be a day off for the star running back. Only the early stages of today's session was open to reporters.

As far as other injury updates, Kelly said X-rays on Josh Huff, who injured his shoulder Friday night, came back negative but the rookie wide receiver is probably out for Thursday’s preseason game against the Steelers at Lincoln Financial Field. Huff is wearing a sling.

Cornerback Nolan Carroll (groin) should practice some this week, Kelly said, but the coach added he’s not sure of Carroll's status for the Steelers game. “He’s obviously had an outstanding camp, an outstanding offseason until his injury," Kelly said. "So obviously we’ll feel a little bit better about the corner position when we get Nolan back.”

Special teams maven Bryan Braman did not play Friday, though he was not listed on the team’s pre-game injury report. Braman’s back “seized up” during pre-game stretches, Kelly said, but it’s not considered serious and the outside linebacker will practice either today or Monday.

Third-string running back Chris Polk (hamstring) remains out. Matthew Tucker and David Fluellen are back.

Some other quick hits from Kelly’s pre-practice press conference:

(With backup QB Mark Sanchez playing so well in the preseason, how do you weigh a decision to trade him or keep him on the roster?)

“I mean good question cause Mark has played well, but we haven’t had anybody call or ask us anything. So that’s not something we’re talking about because you’re spending time on things that could happen, should happen, I don’t know. But I know we’re really happy about him. I feel very, very confident in our quarterback situation. Probably better than a lot of teams in this league going into it cause I think we’ve got two guys right now that have actually played in games. Mark’s got 68 games under his resume and is playing at a really high level right now. Obviously Nick coming off an outstanding season last year. So we feel real confident. But I’m also a big guy that you better have two quarterbacks in this league, so I think unless something blows you out of the water we’re real confident with Mark starting a game for the Eagles.”

(On what the Eagles would do if another team hypothetically called with interest in Sanchez)

“What are you giving me? I mean we’ll listen to anything for anybody. We’re not going to just bury our head in the sand and say no, but it better be a pretty good deal in terms of what it is. But that’s not any of our thought process. We need him, in terms of how he’s playing right now, how we can function and what we’re doing. And I’ve always said you need to have two quarterbacks.”

(On Allen Barbre’s performances at starting right tackle through two preseason games)

“I think Allen’s done a nice job. He could stick the blocks a little bit better but he’s got a real good feel and sense of what we’re doing. I think he’s a physical player at the tackle spot so he doesn’t get overmatched by anybody in there. Really happy that we have him in that obviously with Lane being out for four games that Allen’s in there. But Allen’s done a real solid job for us at that right tackle spot.”

(On whether undrafted rookie kicker Carey Spear, who has not played in either preseason game, has provided Alex Henery the competition Kelly envisioned)

“A lot of it’s based on practice. I think obviously Alex is ahead of him from when you see him out there in the competitive situations we put them in practice. You can’t manufacture it. You can’t make it up. You’ve got to go by what the numbers are. I know Alex has missed two kicks all of camp, was 5-for-5 in 50-plus. He’s 8-for-8 from 45 to 49 in training sessions. He did miss one in the game. But I mean it’s also something that we’re not going to throw another guy out there if Alex has definitely out-kicked Carey so far in practice.”

(On Fletcher Cox’s play thus far)

“Fletch has been steady. Fletch has been really productive for us when he’s been in there in terms of what we’re asking him to do.”

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