BREAKING --- Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Tuesday that LeSean McCoy's sore toe is so serious "I don't think he'll ever play again."
Unbelievably, Kelly managed a smile while delivering this devastating news to a tent full of somber repor...what? You say he was kidding? Oh. Never mind, then.
"He practiced fully yesterday, he's fine," Kelly said. "It's not as big an issue as I think anybody's made it out to be."
After practicing fully Monday, McCoy attributed his absence from the Birds' Sunday workout to "a small version of turf toe," which he said was a significant source of pain during Friday's preseason game at New England, and "was at an all-time high, as far as pain," when he sat out on Sunday.
McCoy also talked Monday about how much he hated to miss practice. When a USA TODAY reporter tried weaving that thread into a theme with Kelly on Tuesday, the coach seemed relucatant to play along.
"LeSean's a competitor. He wants to be out there. It was just one incident. There's a lot of questions about a toe for a practice in August," Kelly said. The reporter clarifed that he was asking not so much about this injury, but McCoy's "intensity as a practice player."
"It's OK," Kelly said, smiling. "Some days he's great out there. There's other days he's not so great."
Kelly said he has not formulated a plan for how much starters will play Thursday against the Steelers, the third preseason game, in which starters traditionallly get the most work. He said WRs Brad Smith (groin) and Josh Huff (shoulder) will not play. Ditto RB Chris Polk, who has missed pretty much the entire camp with a hamstring pull.
"It's a big factor," Kelly said when asked how tough it is to evaluate Polk, when he hasn't played in the preseason and hasn't practiced for so long. "You've gotta be able to play." He said the same went for fellow reserve running backs Matthew Tucker and David Fluellen, who have each missed substantial time.
Asked if Polk -- who did not practice Tuesday -- has been cleared by the medical staff, Kelly said "a lot of that has to do with the pain that they feel," which seemed to put the ball in Polk's court.
Kelly said tight end Brent Celek, who bounced up quickly after taking a big hit Friday night, "sets a tone for not only the offense, I think everybody here, in terms of his physical toughness and his mental toughness. He's a guy I think you can count on on a daily basis. He's always out there -- he loves playing football. For some guys, they may have been down for a long time (after a hit like that), had the trainers come visit 'em and then get carted off, and all those other things. He takes a lot of pride in his toughness, never wants to lie on the field. He's a guy I think people, especially on this team, when you watch him on a daily basis, the other guys really admire how he plays the game."