On Wednesday morning, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly was at the podium to discuss the upcoming matchup with Tampa Bay. Here are five takeaways from the head coach's press conference …
On The Injury Front
The biggest storyline of the week revolves around the health of quarterback Sam Bradford as he continues to recover from a concussion and shoulder injury. Ryan Mathews, Connor Barwin and a number of other key plays missed training on Wednesday.
"He hasn't passed through the concussion protocol, so he won't be allowed to practice today," Kelly said about Bradford. "Ryan Mathews, the same thing and Josh Andrews the same thing. All three of those guys haven't cleared through the system, so they're not allowed to practice."
As for Bradford's shoulder injury, Kelly explained that since he hasn't cleared the concussion protocol yet, it's difficult to tell whether that would prohibit the quarterback from playing. Meanwhile, Jason Peters also missed training as he continues his recovery from a back injury.
"We'll see how things go the rest of the week, but he's not going to go today," Kelly said.
On Mark Sanchez's Familiarity With The Offense
If Bradford is indeed forced to sit on Sunday, Mark Sanchez will take the field as the Eagles' quarterback, and if that's the case, Kelly is highly confident in Sanchez's ability to step in and lead the team to a victory.
"I think he's very familiar with our system," Kelly said. "He has a good grasp of where he is and he's healthy because he only played 38 snaps on Sunday."
On The Upcoming Schedule
One of the other notable storylines heading into Sunday is the fact that the Eagles will follow the game with a very short week before the Thanksgiving matchup in Detroit. The Eagles will play two games over the next eight days, but even with that said, Kelly is focused on getting the job done against Tampa Bay.
"Our number one goal is to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so we're not going to not do something because we're getting ready for a game on Thanksgiving. Every game is important to us, so we'll do whatever we have to do to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers," said Kelly.
On Jameis Winston
On Sunday, the Eagles will face off against the No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 NFL Draft in quarterback Jameis Winston. The Florida State product faced the typically amount of rookie struggles early, but he's since rebounded to lead Tampa Bay to a 4-5 record.
"I think he's gotten better as the season's progressed," Kelly said. "From game one to where he is now, there's a maturation process that is going on with him. I think he's making better decisions with the football. His interceptions occurred early, they haven't really occurred late. … He's been impressive in the last couple of games."
On Gerald McCoy
For the second straight week, the Eagles will face one of the top defensive tackles in the league. Last week, it was Miami's Ndamukong Suh and this time around the Eagles will have to game plan for Tampa Bay's Gerald McCoy.
"He's one of the premier 3-techniques in the league," Kelly said. "When the Bucs were in their heyday and they had Warren Sapp, you really need that 3-technique-type of player to be a disruptive force for you, and he is that. We faced him two years ago and we've seen him first-hand when we played them down there, and he was as advertised."