Eagles Notes: Another Change on the Offensive Line?
Eagles starting right guard Danny Watkins is expected to be replaced in the Week 8 starting lineup by rookie Dennis Kelly. The move apparently has nothing to do with Watkins play, but a "chronic" ankle problem that has plagued Watkins since college.
“Danny has got kind of a chronic ankle," explained head coach Andy Reid. "I mean he’s had it for years. He disturbed it in the last game and he thought it’d be fine. When he came back Monday he practiced, Wednesday practiced, and he just didn’t feel right so back him up and let the thing settle down. We’ll see how he does tomorrow and then on Sunday.”
While Watkins did not participate in practice on most of the week, he has yet to be officially ruled out for Sunday's game. Rookie Dennis Kelly, is expected to start during Watkins absence.
It has not been a good season so far for the former first-round pick Watkins. According to Pro Football Focus, Watkins has allowed 16 quarterback pressures this season and that is just not getting it done and with all the issues the Eagles line has had this season, Kelly could win a job by giving a solid effort on Sunday against the Falcons.
“It’s exciting," admitted Kelly. "It’s very humbling to know that the coach trusts me like that. Hopefully, I just perform to the level that I want and I won’t let him down.”
Like Watkins, Kelly played left tackle in college, so this will be his first attempt to play guard. He did start at guard in a preseason game against Cleveland.
“I think we’ll be alright,' Reid stated. "We’ll be alright. Guys have trust in Kelly and he went in [during] the preseason when we asked him to start against Cleveland in that game. He did a nice job there. I think he gained a lot of the guys’ respect. It’s an opportunity for him.”
If he plays well, he might just be the new starting right guard.