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McCoy's Return May Boost Special Teams

Posted Dec 21, 2012

The return of running back LeSean McCoy this Sunday could mean more than a shot in the arm for the offense. In a roundabout way, it could provide one on special teams, too.

In Week 11, the Eagles’ last game against the Redskins, running back Bryce Brown took over kick return duties. It was his first time returning kicks since his freshman year of college, though it definitely didn’t look that way. He finished the game with three returns for 66 yards with a long of 25 yards.

Brown looked the part of a capable return man, but any conversation about him permanently taking over was shelved when McCoy was concussed at the end of the game. Brown became the Eagles’ starting running back, where he continued to contribute.

But with McCoy back in action this week, special teams coordinator Bobby April said that Brown may return to kickoff duties.

“There's a good chance,” April said on Thursday. “We've worked him back there this week and we see how he handles the ball and manages the ball. He has to manage the ball. He did a nice job. He only returned that one game, but he showed (burst), which he shows as a runner, too. There's a chance he'll return.”

When asked about taking over kick returns, Brown’s answer was simple.

“As of now, I am,” Brown said. “So I’m excited about that.”

The Eagles could certainly use a boost on special teams. The Eagles are averaging 20.9 yards per kick return, which ranks 27th in the league. Rookie Brandon Boykin has been handling the bulk of the returns this season, and is sixth in the league with 953 return yards. But of the top 15 return yardage leaders, Boykin’s 22.7 yards per return ranks 15th.

Even if Brown sees limited snaps on offense, it appears likely that he’ll still have a chance to make an impact Sunday against the Redskins.

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