By Kevin McGuire
Fans of the Philadelphia Eagles have had a number of reasons to be somewhat sick with their favorite team’s performance this season. This week Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was just plain sick.
McCoy missed two practices this week and was limited in practice on Friday as the Eagles prepare for a home game against NFC East rival Dallas, but despite battling flue-like symptoms all week the top offensive player on the team expects to be available Sunday afternoon.
“Yeah, once I get rolling I’ll get into it, (get my blood flowing) I’ll be fine,” McCoy said after practice Friday to the media. McCoy believes that playing a familiar opponent was probably good timing for getting sick, because he knows what Dallas can bring to the field on Sunday.
“I know my assignments from the blitzes and pickups, the protections, the plays called,” McCoy said. “I think the coaches trust me on that in (those) types of situations. And I’ve been here before where I haven’t practiced and actually played through different injuries. I really haven’t missed too many games in my career so far so I’ll be fine.”
Head coach Andy Reid feels comfortable with McCoy’s status as well.
“He looked okay, but we’re just kind of easing him back in,” the head coach said Friday. “He’s still got a little bit of a cough but he’s getting there.”
Whether McCoy is 100 percent or not, the Eagles still have a number of concerns on the injury report this week. For a second straight week offensive guard Danny Watkins will be out, and Evan Mathis is dealing with a minor knee injury. Mathis has been able to stay in full practices this week but a chronic ankle concern has left Watkins out of practice all week. Watkins has not practiced for the Eagles since October 24. Dennis Kelly will continue to fill in for Watkins on the makeshift offensive line that hopes to find a way to improve in a hurry.
The Eagles will also be without some back-up players, with wide receiver and special teams player Mardy Gilyard (hamstring) out for a second straight game and fourth string running back Chris Polk (toe) out after sitting out practices all week.
Nate Allen, safety (hamstring)
Jason Avant, wide receiver (back)
Brandon Boykin, corner back (toe)
Akeem Jordan, linebacker (groin)
Evan Mathis, guard (knee)
LeSean McCoy, running back (illness)
David Sims, safety (foot)
Mardy Gilyard, wide receiver (hamstring)
Chris Polk, running back (toe)
Danny Watkins, guard (ankle)
Kevin McGuire covers college football for Examiner.com and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow him on Twitter (@KevinOnCFB). His work can be found on Examiner.com.