The Eagles beat the Houston Texans 31-21 on Sunday, but three key starters were sidelined in the win: quarterback Nick Foles (shoulder), guard Todd Herremans (ankle) and linebacker DeMeco Ryans. Head coach Chip Kelly will provide more info during his live press conference today at 1 PM which you can watch online or on our mobile app ...
1. Kelly: Initial Diagnosis Is Clavicle Injury For Foles
Head coach Chip Kelly told SportsRadio 94WIP on Monday morning that the initial diagnosis for Nick Foles is a clavicle injury. Foles was tackled hard to the ground by Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus late in the first quarter on the quarterback's non-throwing shoulder. Foles was replaced in the game by Mark Sanchez. Kelly said that he does not know how long Foles will be sidelined.
As for linebacker DeMeco Ryans, Kelly said after the game that the veteran is like Mufasa from The Lion King. Kelly explained that he believes there are players in the locker room who can help lift the team from a leadership standpoint, but he wants to see the players go out and play for him.
"The way you honor DeMeco is you pick up the shield and fight in his honor," Kelly said.
2. Wait, You're Not Nick Foles?
Quarterback Mark Sanchez took over for the injured Nick Foles to start the second quarter and the offense didn't miss a beat. His first pass as a Philadelphia Eagles was a 52-yard post down the middle for wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. He completed his two other pass attempts, including a beautiful 11-yard touch pass to rookie Jordan Matthews for a touchdown.
Tackle Jason Peters initially didn't realize it was Sanchez who led the Eagles on the scoring drive instead of Foles.
"I didn't even know Foles was out. He threw that bomb to Maclin, I turned around to congratulate him and it was Sanchez. I didn't even know the guy was out until I started looking for him and he had went in for X-rays," Peters said. "For him to step in for Foles, it was big time."
Sanchez finished 15 of 22 for 202 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in his Eagles debut. Sanchez may have had to wait until Week 9 to make an impact on the field, but he's done plenty off the field in his time with the team.
3. Today: Free Medium Coffee At Dunkin' Donuts!
Dunkin' Donuts in Greater Philadelphia announced the return of the popular "Eagles Win. You Win!" free coffee offer on the Dunkin' Mobile app this season. In 2013, Eagles fans redeemed over 600,000 cups of free coffee through the popular "Eagles Win, You Win!" mobile offer. This exclusive offer for fans celebrates each Eagles victory with a coupon delivered on the Dunkin' Mobile App for a FREE medium hot or iced coffee valid in the Greater Philadelphia Region the day following an Eagles win. Fans can download the Dunkin' Mobile App here: http://ow.ly/oy9ZD
4. Will The O-Line Get Back To The Original Five?
Despite the topsy-turvy nature of the Eagles' offensive line throughout the season, things appear to be settling down as the team enters the second half of the season. For a unit that saw all five starters play all 16 games together last season, the first eight games have seen that happen exactly zero times in 2014.
The return of center Jason Kelce, though, meant that he, Jason Peters, Todd Herremans and Lane Johnson were able to play together as a group for the first time this season. The extent of Herremans' ankle injury, and the amount of pain from his biceps injury he can tolerate, is still unknown, but left guard Evan Mathis is eligible to return next week against the Carolina Panthers on Monday night.
"It felt good," Johnson said after a 31-21 Eagles victory that saw the team run for 190 yards. "I think we'll have Evan back next week, so getting back to the original five will help. (Kelce) is getting adjusted, getting used to the rhythm of the game and he played decent. He played pretty well."
The dominance of the Eagles' running game on the afternoon was another throwback to the 2013 version of the Eagles, though Kelce cautioned that it was simply the case of the Eagles taking advantage of what was given to them by the opposing defense.
"I think our identity is whatever's open on the defense," Kelce said. "I think too many times we're caught up in each week you want to do the same thing and I think that's not the case. I think you look at last week against the best run defense in the NFL and one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL ... This week, we kind of knew as long as we got the blocks going we had some stuff in the running game. All three of the (running backs) out there, rather than just playing with the two guys, that allows you to run it that many more times because you know you have three guys instead of two."
As for how the offensive line has performed all season, with nine different players earning starts at one time or another, Kelce gave credit to the man behind the offensive line's curtain.
"It starts with coach Jeff Stoutland," Kelce said. "He makes sure that everyone is ready to go when they go out there. He's a tremendous coach in terms of teaching guys the right way to execute blocks."
5. Wolff Pleased With First Start Of Season
Though Earl Wolff made his first start of the season Sunday, in place of the injured Nate Allen, the Eagles' tandem of safeties appeared to work well together in the Eagles' 31-21 victory.
"I think it went pretty well," said safety Malcolm Jenkins, who has started all eight games this season. "We made plays. We were lined up. Communication was great. It was good. No flaws."
The ease of the communication is what Wolff, the second-year former fifth-round pick, was most proud of following the game.
"I feel like I did well," Wolff said. "I feel like after that first series, I really gained my confidence back. I was quick with my calls.
"Especially at a communication standpoint, I really did great. I was kind of proud of myself."