COMMENTARY | Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce said he felt pretty good after playing in his first game since being lost for the season with a torn ACL and MCL last September.
After the Eagles lost their preseason opener to the New England Patriots on Friday night at Lincoln Financial Field, Kelce said he felt as good after the game as he felt before suffering the injury early in the 2012 season. Kelce had been day-to-day entering the preseason opener after tweaking his ankle earlier in the week.
Going in to the first preseason game of the year, there were questions about how a lack of regular hitting and tackling in training camp might impact what the Eagles do in a game situation. While designed to avoid injuries in practice, the Eagles have already lost a pair of wide receivers for the season in wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Arrelious Benn. Linebacker Jason Phillips has also been lost for the year, with all three players suffering torn ACL injuries.
During the exhibition loss to the Patriots, the Eagles lost a small handful of players for the game with injuries. The Eagles lost three linebackers during the course of the game. Jamar Chaney left with a shoulder injury, and Casey Matthews and Chris McCoy each left with a knee injury. Chaney and Matthews are each questionable for the second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. McCoy should be available for the game.
The Eagles also lost long snapper Jon Dorenbos during the game, forcing the Eagles to play the rest of the game without a long snapper ready to play. Brent Celek is the team's backup long snapper, but head coach Chip Kelly did not feel comfortable putting him in a position to snap for kicks without much practice. Dorenbos was carted off the field and later was diagnosed with a concussion. His status for the next game remains unconfirmed.
The Eagles held out a handful of players due to injury concerns. In addition to those already on injured reserve, the Eagles held out running back LeSean McCoy, cornerback Carey Williams, and tackles Jason Peters, Dennis Kelly and Ed Wang. McCoy, the team's top running back, tweaked his knee on Monday but the injury does not appear to be too serious. Keeping him out of the game may have been more of a precaution than anything else. With McCoy out, the Eagles gave Bryce Brown an opportunity to take charge in the running game, and he rushed for an average of 4.4 yards per carry, scored a touchdown, and added a couple of catches for 19 yards.
Williams, who decided to skip out on multiple voluntary offseason practices, has been battling a hamstring and has been limited in training camp. Peters has also been limited with a hamstring issue. He had sat out three days of practices before tweaking it again before the preseason opener. The offensive line depth at tackle is also hurt by a back injury to Kelly, who is questionable for the season opener.
Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sportswriter and member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @krmcguire and read more of his coverage and commentary on the Philadelphia Eagles on Yahoo!
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