Happy December, Eagles fans! The team returns to practice today as it looks to turn things around this Sunday against New England. Take a look at all the latest content in the December 1st edition of the Read-Option ...
Quarterback Still THE Big-Picture Story - Dave Spadaro
"It's too early to know for sure if Sam Bradford can play in New England, but there is no question that when he gets healthy he will play. The Eagles need him on the field, not only to give the offense its best chance to make any kind of an NFC East title run but to give Kelly and his coaching staff and the personnel staff and Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie and everyone more reps to take the deep evaluation dive.
The quarterback position, Eagles fans, remains a huge question mark. Bradford is here, as you know, with a one-year contract. Mark Sanchez, the No. 2 at the position, is signed through 2016. Thad Lewis is the No. 3 quarterback and has been an NFL journeyman in his career. Stephen Morris is on the practice squad as a developmental prospect.
None of them are what you would consider sure-thing, franchise-type quarterbacks. Can Bradford become that kind of quarterback? What is the significance of these final five regular-season games, not only for the team's postseason chances, but in terms of what it means for Bradford and the quarterback position?
It's too early to look to the future, but the quarterback story has always been front and center this season. The Eagles haven't won a playoff game since the 2008 season when they had Donovan McNabb and quarterback stability. You aren't going to win for a sustained period of time, as we've seen, with Kevin Kolb followed by Michael Vick followed by Nick Foles followed by Mark Sanchez followed by Sam Bradford -- all of whom have had injuries and inconsistencies and generally the kind of uneven quarterback play that mar continuity and disrupt any chances a team has to win in the postseason over a number of years."
Tweet Of The Day
Get an analysis of Eric Rowe's play on Thanksgiving ...
Get To Know The New England Patriots
Heading into Week 13, we take a look at some of the Patriots' key players that the Eagles will face in New England. View the full gallery here...
Report: Gronkowski Not Expected To Play - Alex Smith
"According to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, it seems as if Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski will not be able to suit up against the Eagles on Sunday afternoon due to a right knee injury.
Gronkowski was injured late in New England's overtime loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. He was carted off of the field, and while he appeared to be in a lot of pain, reports are indicating that no ligaments were torn.
Not only will the Patriots be without Gronkowski, but fellow notable target Julian Edelman will also sit out on Sunday. The Patriots could also be without former Eagle Danny Amendola, who missed the Broncos game due to a knee injury. Stay tuned during the week for the official injury reports from both teams heading into Sunday afternoon's tilt in Foxborough."
360: Westbrook On Stretch Run
Tuesday's Practice A 'Big Test' For Bradford - Zach Berman, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Tuesday will be an important practice for Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford.
Coach Chip Kelly said Monday that Bradford will practice Tuesday and the Eagles will need to see how his shoulder responds. Bradford missed the last two games, and his absence Thursday in a loss to Detroit was because of a separated left shoulder. If Bradford does not have any issues after practice Tuesday, he will be on pace to start Sunday against the New England Patriots.
'I just don't know exactly where we are from a throwing standpoint,' Kelly said. 'He threw a little bit in Detroit, wasn't ready to play last Thursday obviously . . . And a big test will be (Tuesday), him throwing the ball and seeing there's residual soreness in terms of being able to continue.'
Bradford was a full participant in practice on Wednesday, but it was only a one-hour session. Even though the AC joint in Bradford's non-throwing arm is injured, Kelly said the off shoulder is important for a quarterback. Bradford needs to have stability and must be able to take a hit."
Chip: No Contact With USC - Tim McManus, Birds 24/7
"Chip Kelly denied reports connecting him to the now-filled head coaching job at USC.
'I've never spoken to anybody from USC, I've never emailed anybody from USC, never got a phone call from anybody from USC, never had any contact,' said Kelly, who stated that the same applies to his agent. 'I'm not involved in any college jobs.
'The same thing happened a year ago with Florida. I have great respect for all those schools. I think USC just hired a coach who is a heck of coach -- Clay (Helton) is going to do a great job there -- but I haven't been involved in any jobs, I haven't discussed anything with any colleges.'
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, USC "touched base" with Kelly before giving the job to Helton. Zach Barnett of Football Scoop writes that the two sides had a sitdown in Philly, possibly on Friday.
'I wasn't in Philly on Friday, so that's wrong,' said Kelly, who added that he was in New Hampshire on that day. 'I haven't met with them, I haven't talked to them, I haven't had a conversation with anybody from USC.'
'It's crazy. But really it's kind of sad that everybody can just write whatever they want or say whatever they want, and then everybody takes it as the truth. It's the world we live in but if you have to sit there every day and combat everything that comes out, I think you're wasting time. Our focus and energy has to be on the New England Patriots.'
Kelly maintains that the recent adversity 'hasn't at all' affected his commitment to the job and desire to stay here. 'I've been totally committed since the day I got here on January 16th of 2013 and that hasn't changed. I'm here.'