Like Jason, younger brother Travis Kelce rehabbing from injury
INDIANAPOLIS - Like his brother, Travis Kelce is working back from an injury.
Kelce, the Cincinnati tight end who is one of the better prospects at that position in the upcoming draft, underwent offseason sports hernia surgery and isn't working out at the NFL Scouting Combine. Jason Kelce, the Eagles' center, tore his ACL in the second game of the 2012 season. Both are expected to be fine for the 2013 season.
"I tore it probably around Week 3. During the season, just played on it, played through it, got through the season," said Travis, the beardless Kelce. "It was still nagging me during the combine training. I just decided I needed to get it fixed. I'm about a month out of surgery, and I'm feeling pretty good. Nothing is hurting; nothing is annoying or anything like that. It's just stiff, and I've got to get back into shape."
Travis said he will "have quite a few things to live up to my rookie year," with Jason having started every game as a sixth-round rookie in 2011.
Asked about draft-process advice from Jason, Travis said his brother "let me live it my own way, I guess."
"He just told me enjoy the process," he said. "Have fun with it, but, at the same time, tell everybody the truth, tell everybody what you think of yourself and what you think of the whole process itself."
He said he had his sports hernia surgery in Philadelphia and made a point to say hi to Eagles tight end Brent Celek, a Cincinnati alum who played there before Kelce's time.
Jason Kelce's draft experience was bittersweet - he ended up where he got a chance to play right away, but he'd expected to go earlier than the sixth round. Teams thought he was too small. Obviously, the sports hernia surgery could create a little uncertainty for Travis, who has ideal size at 6-5, 255, and might go as high as the second round in April.
"That was one of the things that [Jason] told me," Travis said. "He told me, 'Just enjoy this experience. Your experience is going to be different than mine.' I'm a tight end. I'm not an offensive lineman . . . He was scrutinized for being a smaller guy and stuff like that. It's just been a completely different situation than him and I've definitely noticed that."
Nnamdi pay cut looms
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman met Friday in Indianapolis with Ben Dogra, agent for cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, a source close to the situation confirmed. Roseman wanted to at least bring up the subject of Asomugha taking a pay cut from the $15 million he is due this season. The team is not thought to be interested in retaining Asomugha at that figure.
It isn't clear whether Roseman mentioned a specific figure in the meeting. Neither Roseman nor Dogra responded to requests for comment.
Fans disappointed in the centerpiece of the Eagles' 2011 free-agent haul might want to see him gone, but the Eagles will carry a $4 million cap hit for Asomugha this year if they release him. They have been a team that takes pride in cap management. Also, the decision not to franchise Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie means the other starting corner probably is leaving. It would be tough to replace both starters, with so many other needs to fill.
Asomugha's skills clearly have declined from his All-Pro days, and he was Exhibit A for fans who thought some players gave up during last season's 4-12 debacle. Asked several times to evaluate Asomugha during his Thursday appearance at the combine, new coach Chip Kelly basically refused, eventually allowing that "I think Nnamdi has a skill set that can play football."
It didn't draw the huge throng of reporters who flocked to the top prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine, but the demonstration Friday of the NFL's 2013 sideline concussion protocol touched on a subject that figures to loom large long after today's potential draftees have retired.
Seattle Seahawks team physician Stanley Herring and Princeton team physician Margot Putukian, both members of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee, showed how team doctors will be able to use iPads both to administer an involved test to players who might be concussed, and compare the results instantly with previous baseline results.
The league, which has mandated an independent neurologist on every sideline in 2013, wants everyone to know how seriously it takes head injuries, given the backdrop of that massive lawsuit filed by former players. But even as they ran through the testing with media volunteer Peter King, from Sports Illustrated, as a test subject, Herring and Putukian emphasized how, as Putukian put it, "concussion is really an elusive diagnosis." They acknowledged that the testing won't reveal every concussion, and said it is important players who pass the sideline test be tested again the next day.
Some draft experts don't consider West Virginia's Geno Smith a great fit for a read-option type offense, but Smith told reporters Friday that he ran such an offense when he first played for the Mountaineers, and he has no doubt he can do it in the NFL . . . Temple running back Montel Harris, hampered by knee injuries at Boston College, said he thought he proved in his lone season with the Owls that he is healthy and will hold up physically.