After further examining the status of center Jason Kelce's knee, the Eagles have decided to place the promising second-year player on injured reserve, ending Kelce's 2012 season. Kelce fully tore the MCL and partially tore the ACL in his right knee after Ravens safety Ed Reed dove into the knee in an attempt to tackle LeSean McCoy in the third quarter of Sunday's win over the Ravens. Monday, head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder explained that the Eagles had the option to wait out the healing process on Kelce's partially torn ACL, though there would be no guarantees about how long that recovery would take or about the strength of the knee upon recovery.
With Kelce on injured reserve, the Eagles signed veteran offensive lineman Steve Vallos to take Kelce's roster spot. Vallos spent the entire offseason with the Eagles after signing as a free agent in March. Vallos began Training Camp as the third-team center behind Kelce and Dallas Reynolds, then worked his way up to the second team, rotating with Reynolds between center and guard.
"It was good to be home for a couple weeks with my family, but it's great to be back with the Eagles," Vallos said. "I'm friends with Kelce, so it's tough, but it's part of the business and it's good to be back."
Vallos, 28, was originally a seventh-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks out of distinguished football powerhouse Wake Forest. He has started eight games in four seasons with the Seahawks and Cleveland Browns, split between center and guard. At Wake Forest, Vallos set a school record by starting 48 games throughout his collegiate career, during which he received first-team All-America honors from Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News.
Vallos said he has spent the last few weeks at home in Seattle with his family. Now that he's back with the Eagles, he expects his transition to be a smooth one.
"Not much has changed, I don't think. It's only been a couple weeks. Hopefully I can fit right in," he said. "I was with these guys all offseason and all Training Camp, so it'll be easy to join back in."
The addition of Vallos and subtraction of Kelce leaves nine offensive linemen on the active roster: King Dunlap, Evan Mathis, Reynolds, Danny Watkins, Todd Herremans, Demetress Bell, Dennis Kelly, Nate Menkin and Vallos. Vallos is the only experienced center among the backups.
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