The mystery of who will start at quarterback for the Eagles on Thanksgiving against the Lions was no closer to being solved Tuesday.
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur insisted that no decision has been made, and that one probably won’t be made until after the Eagles’ final pre-game practice on Wednesday moring before they board a plane for Detroit.
“We’re going to get them ready to go and start one of them," Shurmur said, referring to Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. “We won’t learn any more today because today’s a walk-through."
Unlike most NFL teams, the Eagles have a walk-through practice two days before a game (today) and then a harder practice the day before (tomorrow).
Bradford missed Sunday’s 45-17 loss to Tampa Bay with a concussion and Grade II AC joint sprain in his non-throwing shoulder. He completed the concussion protocol and was cleared by a neurologist on Monday. He was a limited practice participant Monday, participating in individual passing drills and some team drills in the light, day-after-game workout.
Asked if Bradford would start if his shoulder permits him, Shurmur said, “We’ve got to see. Right now, for me to speculate, I don’t want to lead anybody down the wrong path here. I don’t know; I really don’t know. We’re going to go out and walk today. Tomorrow, we’re going to run. We’ll know more then.
“I’m trying to be honest and transparent. But I can’t tell you what’s going to happen right now because I don’t know who’s going to be healthy."
“Sam participated in some of what we were doing (on Monday). But (Monday) was a half-speed deal, too, because we were just one day out from the game. So again, it’s up in the air."
The medical issue right now isn’t the concussion, from which he has been cleared. It’s the shoulder sprain. Bradford almost certainly can play with it. But the coaching staff has to determine how effective he’ll be playing with the injury and whether Sanchez might be a better option for one more game.
The fact that this is a short week only complicates matters. Ideally, the Eagles probably would prefer to give Bradford one more week to heal. But considering how poorly Sanchez played Sunday and the fact that they really, really need to win Thursday, they might feel they need to start Bradford, even if he isn’t 100 percent.
“Him getting back on the field from both the concussion and the shoulder (is important)," Shurmur said. “He’s cleared from the concussion. We’ll just see what he can do."