Stewart Bradley is all too accustomed to watching Eagles games from his living room couch. Just last season, he missed the entire year after suffering a torn ACL in training camp. So you can understand if Bradley was itching to play last week against Detroit. He does admit however, begrudgingly of course, that the team doctors had his best interest at heart.
"It was tough, but at the same right you feel secure and safe that the medical staff here is making the best decision for my long-term health," Bradley said. "Even though I felt good and felt like I could play, they stuck to the protocol and it's a credit to them because they could have probably played me since I was (medically) cleared.
"I know my mom's happy that they stuck to the protocol and didn't play me last week."
Hopefully, she will be just as happy to see her son return to the field this week, because after a full week of practice, that's precisely what he's planning to do. And not a minute too soon for the Eagles, who face a hungry Jacksonville team looking to bounce back after a tough loss last week. Bradley knows that to take any team lightly in the NFL is a huge mistake.
"This is a big game for us," Bradley said. "Obviously, we're at .500 right now and we want to go to 2-1. Jacksonville is a talented team, they have a lot of weapons on offense, great special teams, a lot of athletes on both sides of the ball. So it's going to be a great challenge for us …it's definitely important that we get focused on the opponent at hand and not get caught up in all the hype and craziness that's going on right now."
Hype? Craziness? In all seriousness, that's the approach the team has taken of late. The focus is solely on defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars, and doing so in their stadium and in their climate. The game time temperatures are expected to hover in the mid-to-high 80s, with a heat index near 100 degrees.
Now it's on to Maurice Jones-Drew and the rest of the Jaguars offense for Bradley, who has his focus set on containing the Pro Bowl running back. His mother Ann, however, has her focus set on something different. With the high temperatures in Florida, she just wants him to stay hydrated. After all, she is a nurse.
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 10:50 a.m., September 24