Philadelphia Eagles News

HC Andy Reid & Trainer Rick Burkholder

Head Athletic Trainer Rick Burkholder

Opening Remarks: "As you guys saw yesterday with (C) Jason (Kelce), he had a knee injury on the field. Dr. (Pete) DeLuca's exam and this morning's MRI confirmed a partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear and a total tear of the MCL, which is the medial collateral ligament. The question arises, 'what do you do with those two injuries?' There's not a consensus around the country among sports medicine people. The first thing we know is that the MCL has to heal up before you can do anything with the ACL. That takes up to four to six weeks. With the ACL, you have to decide whether or not you're going to have to fix it through ACL reconstruction or don't fix (it). If we fix it, he will be done for the season and he'll have a long rehab. If you don't fix it and the MCL heals, he has a chance to play this year. The next step for us will be that Dr. DeLuca will do a diagnostic orthoscope in the morning on Jason's knee. What he'll determine in that scope – while he's under anesthesia – is he'll examine the knee again. Jason was obviously in a lot of pain yesterday, and then this morning, it was tough to get a total exam. When he's asleep, you'll be able to really feel how the ACL checks up with the partial tear and whether it actually works. He'll go in there and scope it, and he'll look at the anterior cruciate ligament inside his knee with the scope to see how much of the tissue is intact. From there, we will determine our treatment plan, which could either be a 4-6 week rehab and a brace and continue to play through or to do his ACL reconstruction for six weeks from now. The reason that you don't do the ACL reconstruction right away is that if he goes in there and the ACL is totally torn or torn enough that he would fix it, he would come back out and let that MCL heal because you'll have a better result if the MCL heals. We'll share this information with other sports medicine experts around the country, some of the physicians in the National Football League and then we'll have a better idea of the treatment plan with the diagnostic scope and the exam."

On whether there are any examples of similar injuries that players have gone through: "There are other players. I won't go into which players. I have already spoken to a few of my colleagues this morning and I know that Dr. DeLuca has spoken to a few of his colleagues. As far as we can tell right now, it's a mixed bag. Some people get it fixed right away and other people just let the MCL heal and play with the partial."  

Head Coach Andy Reid

Opening Remarks: "(S) Nate Allen has a shoulder contusion. (S) Colt (Anderson) hyper-extended his off knee, the right knee but is making progress there. (WR) Jason Avant has the wrist that he had last week and is doing okay there. (DE) Jason Babin when he came out had a slight abdominal strain and should be fine. (T) King (Dunlap) has a hamstring strain and we'll just see. That's a day-to-day thing. We'll just see how he does. I wouldn't anticipate him practicing on Wednesday. (WR) DeSean (Jackson) had the hamstring spasm and made it through the game. It's a little bit sore today but made it through the game. Kelce we talked about. (WR Jeremy) Maclin has an added hip contusion to the hip contusion. He had the cut block he made and (got) kneed in that same area so he's sore. I would imagine he would struggle to practice on Wednesday. (LG) Evan Mathis has a neck contusion. (WR) Riley (Cooper) we've talked about with the collarbone. Making progress (but) won't be back full this week. Will not be back full this week. Will continue to practice in the limited role that he was. Then (CB) Curtis Marsh with the hamstring strain is making progress.  

"All-in-all (a) good win for our football team. It's early in the season (and) we understand that. It was against what we consider a very good football team and a very physical football team. I thought our guys played physical football. We understand that we've got another big challenge ahead of us this week against Arizona. They're coming off of a big win against New England, at New England. They're playing good offense, defense and special teams, so we have to make sure we prepare ourselves right this week. (We) have plenty to work on coming out of this game. Absolutely plenty to work on and so we'll get busy on that.

"I'd tell you that I thought the offensive and defensive lines did a very respectable job (against Baltimore). It starts with those guys and they make everybody else better. I thought both sides played a solid football game. Then the guys who came in, (G/C Dallas) Reynolds, who will be the replacement for Kelce, replaced him in this game and did a respectable job as did (T Demetress) Bell at the left tackle spot. I can go through and name (them all). There are a lot of individual great efforts with the (TE Brent) Celek's, the (LB) DeMeco Ryans', and I can continue on. Our corners played a good game. Our young guys who we've asked to step in did a nice job. Some of the positives coming out of the defensive side (was that) I thought our third-down efficiency was very good. I thought we played good third-down defense there. In particular in that third quarter you come out and you had a chance to make adjustments and thought the coaches made nice adjustments. Came out and the Ravens had three, three-and-outs in that third quarter. Again, we've got to take care of the turnovers. Offensively, there were a number of good things that we did. You certainly can't have as many turnovers as we've had. We're fortunate enough where the two turnovers that we received we were able to score touchdowns off of those and they had a touchdown and a field goal. Bottom line is that they end up with points and you never want to put yourself in that position. We'll continue to work and get better at the things we need to get better at and attack those issues. Overall, I was happy with the win and we have room to improve."

On whether Reynolds handled the protection calls after taking over for Kelce: "He did everything that Jason was doing with the calls. He's a smart kid. He's able to handle all of that. Listen, he had a big challenge. Literally, physically and mentally. He had a couple big men on him but he held his own there. He played good solid football."

On whether it was good for Reynolds to go through three seasons on the practice squad and now getting the chance to play: "I mentioned that yesterday. Those are the good stories in this game. He has an opportunity now and he's got to make sure he handles it the right way and continues to work hard. You don't forget what got you there. Prepare yourself right during the week as opposed to playing 35 or 37 plays, now you've got the whole thing. You have to be ready to go."

On whether Dunlap will remain the starter at tackle if he is healthy: "I think King would go back in this week if that's the case. We'll see. We'll see how he does with the hamstring. I think it'll be a battle to get him going but I was very pleased with how Bell played. I thought he did a heck of a job and worthy job to start and he's got a lot of experience under his belt to do that."

On whether the Eagles have the room to keep Kelce on the active roster if he is not ruled out for the season: "Well you have the one spot you can do with the IR-designated return spot. The new tag there that you could use. What we're trying to do is accumulate all of the information we possibly can right now and then answer the question about the backup center position. We just have to see how this all works out here and how we go with this."

On how the team will handle things on Sunday if no roster move is made: "Well we'll have to see how all of that works out. That's what we are going through right now."

On whether it is true that Mathis has experience at center: "Yeah, he has in little bits."

On at what point he realized he had something special with the rookie class: "Well, listen, I talked to (general manager) Howie (Roseman) about this during training camp, when we sit there and evaluate these kids every day, every play. There weren't the big surprises. There weren't the surprises where you saw what you saw on tape and then a kid comes in and you go, 'Doggone it. Maybe it's not quite there.' That's not the feeling that you had. You felt these kids were what they were in college and were able to pick up what we were giving them. They're progressing; the offense, defense, and special teams part."

On what Reynolds showed him to keep him around on the practice squad for three years and then to activate him this year: "The simple answer, I would tell you that he went to BYU. But I'm not going to tell you that (laughs). Listen, he worked his tail off here and he saw this transformation in his body. You saw strength and quickness. He was always a really good athlete, but he got stronger and that's what he needed to do. He lived in that weight room and got himself together there, where he needed to be to compete at this level. Then, he was able to pick up the offense well and he did it with (defensive coordinator and former offensive line coach) Juan (Castillo). Juan was a big supporter of his and then when (offensive line coach) Howard (Mudd) came here, Howard was a big supporter of his. So, he was tested through both the coaches and both of them had positive things to say about him as a player."

On how T Demetress Bell has progressed over the past few weeks: "I think he's more comfortable in the system, number one, and it just really showed up here the last couple weeks where he just settled down a little bit. He had a good grasp with things, he had a good grasp with the techniques, so he was learning a bunch of different things when he came in. Sometimes you can take a little bit of a step back and you take a bigger step forward and I felt that that was what he did."

On the running back situation and why RB Dion Lewis was inactive: "The other kids have done a good job, so we felt good about them up to this point and that they had earned the right to do that. Plus, Dion was set back just a bit with the injury and so those things happen. He's close to 100 percent now so we'll see how things go as we go on here."

On what DT Fletcher Cox has done to earn trust on the defensive line: "I talked to (defensive line coach Jim Washburn) about that today and it really, it's a tribute to the kid and the progress he's made. We're fortunate to have nine guys right now that we feel good about playing in the game. You saw (DE) Brandon Graham come in and give us some great snaps in there. They're all contributing and this kid; he's gotten better every week. He's got a huge challenge this week, but he deserved that opportunity to up his play time. He had about 20 snaps the week before and just gave him a chance to get a few more reps in there and snaps. I thought he did a good job with it."

On the biggest difference between the team's ability to finish out games this year than last year: "You see the energy of the team. I think just overall, there's a certain confidence the fellas have and there's a certain trust they have so they've been able to stay together during the tough times of a game. Every game's going to present you with tough times, some more than others. But the key is that you stick together and you keep playing hard and aggressive and you trust the guy next to you and so on, all of the fundamental things. I think this group's done that, to this point; I mean, we're talking about the second game here, but they've been two pretty close games. But they've hung together and supported each other."

On the impact that having linebackers DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks play every snap has on the defensive unit: "It's not that we don't have trust in the other linebackers playing; that's the first part of that. We have full confidence that they can get in and play. DeMeco is the leader of that defense there and he gets everybody lined up and ready to go and he's done a nice job with it. He's proved to us that he can do that. If we had any question before that, we found out what he was all about when he was here. But again, that doesn't mean we can't mix and match guys in there, but he's shown that he's done that well. Then, you see Mychal getting better every week. You saw it on the last play, undercutting a route that he's stayed over the top on before early in the preseason there; (he) had been undercut on that route, where the receiver came underneath him as opposed to him coming underneath the receiver. So, you see these little steps that he's taken here, getting better at his game. It's just important that he continues to the attention to detail. He's wired that way; he wants to try to do everything right. And then listen, he's gifted athletically. He's a good athlete. He can run and cover and he plays the run game well."

On whether the last two close games have shown that the defense is starting to develop chemistry together: "Well, yeah. Listen, I think they trust each other. That's the important thing and not every game is going to be smooth sailing. That's not how it works. These other teams have got good football players, so there are going to be plays that are made and then you've got to come back and how you come back is what you want to see. For two weeks here, they've come back the way that you want to handle yourself. After a positive play has happened against them, they've come back and haven't lost any trust with one another."

On whether DE Brandon Graham has earned more snaps with the way he has been playing or if there are snaps to go around on the defensive line: "That's what it comes down to. So, (for defensive line coach Jim Washburn), that's a tough thing to juggle there. You have nine guys and they're all putting in positive snaps. So, it's important that Brandon just continues to keep pushing. It's a good problem to have, I guess I'd tell you. We'll just see if that increases or not as we go on here."

On whether it will be a struggle for WR Jeremy Maclin to play on Sunday: "Well, we'll see. Listen, I can't tell you. We're going to play it by ear here and see how it works out. I stood here last week and told you it was going to be a struggle and then he came around. So, I'd just tell you it's day to day. Let's take it at that and we'll see how he does. He got hit in the same spot there and it's pretty tender right now, but (he's a) pretty tough kid too. So we'll just see how it works out."

On what he expects to see out of former Eagle and current Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb: "He's a good football player. We knew that when he was here. I've told him before, I wish him the best of luck for 15 games, except the ones we have to play him. He's a heck of a player; that's what I can tell you. It won't be a surprise to anybody in the room if he's starting. Those guys who were here with him respect him and we know that he's capable of doing what he did at New England and leading his team to a win. We understand. We've got the picture."

On whether there is any merit to the Ravens accusations of the Eagles being "cheap": "I would tell you there was a little pushing and shoving and all that. I think it was probably both sides. I think it was two good football teams playing each other; you're going to get a little of that. It was a physical game. I'm not sure their opinion of us was that we were maybe as tough as what they figured out we were once we got there."

On whether Bell would be the backup at left tackle if T King Dunlap can't play on Sunday: "Bell would be the starter, yeah."

On whether the physical nature of yesterday's game was a result of the referees not having control over the game: "Listen, I think when you get into those kind of games, when it's close and it's two good teams playing each other and they're both aggressive, aggressive teams, I think you're going to have a little bit of that. I think the regular officials that are here, they allow that too. They separate it quickly but they understand. You kind of get it. As long as there's not heavy punches thrown and that, I think they understand that. I thought they handled that okay. That didn't bother me."

On the biggest difference in S Nate Allen this year as opposed to last year: "You've got full trust in his legs, first, and then I just think he's more familiar with what we're doing. It looks like he has a pretty good grasp of what's going on. He had a great offseason, conditioning-wise, and he's playing physical football and always has had before. He's playing very physical and we ask a lot out of our safeties. When you play the wide-nine, you've got a c-gap responsibility at times and you've got to be able to come up there and put a lick on somebody. Both those guys are willing to do that, but Nate, in particular, he gets called on to do that quite often. He's doing that well. He's got cover ability. We knew that when we got him here. He's a good athlete that can cover."

On whether his mindset regarding QB Michael Vick taking hits is to let him play his game and hope that he does not get hurt: "I want Michael to be Michael. He's 32 years old. He's a pretty good quarterback in this league. So, I want him to play the way that he plays and everybody can write about it and do all that. I just want him to keep competing and playing and take what's there. There will be a time and place which you saw yesterday where he did get out of bounds or does get down and that's all I ask of him other than (to) just play the offense and put your mark on it."

On Vick's first interception and trying to limit turnovers on offense: "You can't have turnovers. You can't have turnovers. You've got to do certain things there. I think he'd be the first to tell you just get up and get out of bounds and now you're at the seven-yard line right in there. You live to play the next play."

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