Nigel Bradham isn't sure he's going to be able to play on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. "Hopefully," is all he'll say, and it makes sense: Bradham has missed the last four games with an ankle injury and he needs to get on the practice field before he knows how well he'll hold up for a most difficult assignment on Sunday against quarterback Russell Wilson and a big-play Seattle offense.
"I can't force it," Bradham said. "It's been difficult not being out there contributing to the team. I mean, it's obviously tough, but I think our young guys are doing well. We just keep motivating them and keep it going until the time I can come back."
The Eagles could use all hands on deck for Wilson, the master of improvisation who is deadly extending plays with his legs, burning defensive backs who bail in coverage in an attempt to tackle a scrambling Wilson as well as simply dropping back and throwing the football. An MVP candidate, Wilson leads the league with 23 touchdown passes and a passer rating of 114.9. He's thrown just two interceptions. Wilson's 8.24-yards-per-attempt average is fourth in the league.
Oh, and he's rushed for 256 yards and scored three touchdowns on the ground, averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
"Obviously, he's a great quarterback, a guy who is a dual threat," Bradham said. "We've got to keep him contained, but we can't just let him sit in the pocket, either, because he's really good at both. That's going to be the key for us this week."
In Bradham's absence, Nathan Gerry has made more and more plays, Kamu Grugier-Hill has been all over the football – he had three tackles for loss last week against the Patriots – and T.J. Edwards and Duke Riley have seen more defensive reps. The defense has come a long way and it's helped that the secondary has gotten pieces back in the last few weeks.
Bradham's return would be a plus, too.
But we just don't know yet.
"We'll see how it goes this week," he said. "I would love to be back out there. I'm trying to be patient and do the right things so that when I'm back, I'm all the way back."