Eagles Notes: Who Will Back-up LeSean McCoy?
It's looking cloudy that running back Dion Lewis can play in the Eagles' regular-season opener Sunday at Cleveland. Lewis is listed as questionable for Week 1 against the Browns with a hamstring issue.
Coach Andy Reid told reporters after Friday's practice that there was no change in the depth chart behind starter LeSean McCoy. Reid said doctors will continue to evaluate Lewis' hamstring problems, and the final decision might not be made until close to game time. Lewis practiced fully all week, but the hamstring still appears to be an issue.
When asked who will back up McCoy this week, Reid answered with a laugh.
“Well, we’ll see," Reid joked. "I can’t give you guys everything. I mean, come on. I’ve got to have one secret.”
People who cover the team have stated that seventh-round pick Bryce Brown could get some carries behind McCoy and it helps that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg believes in him.
“I have great confidence in Bryce Brown," admitted Mornhinweg. "He’s another player similar to Nick Foles that progressed very, very well. Now, this man is a highly talented player as well. Again, he’s got the same qualities that some of the young players need to help you quickly. He’s a sharp young man and he’s got some natural instincts and he stayed healthy and was able to put the hard work in. I’ve got great confidence in him.”
Two players are definitely not playing against the Browns: safety Colt Anderson (knee) and receiver Riley Cooper (collarbone)
Reid said rookie defensive tackle Fletcher Cox should be fine. Flynn was limited in Thursday's practice because of soreness in his knee - but Reid said "Fletcher's good."
Asked whether he was concerned about his rookies making their first NFL starts, Reid said, “Listen, go play. I mean, really that’s it. Do your best and go play. Don’t worry about anything else and it looks like they’re wired that way. I think we’ve got a good mix of young guys and veteran players. So, the veterans seem to have confidence in the young guys and that always helps.”
Mychal Kendricks starts at linebacker, and Brandon Boykin at slot corner. Boykin and rookie Damaris Johnson will also handle the return duties. First-round draft pick Flecther Cox is expected to see lots of playing time on the defensive line.
Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo's unit will have a lot of youth, but Castillo said he's confident that the young players will be just fine during the game.
“Just through camp and preseason I think [with] [CB] Brandon Boykin you see he is a playmaker," said Castillo. "He is an athletic and tough kid and smart kid. Likewise with Mychal Kendricks. Mychal is a smart, athletic and relentless linebacker. I think we’ve all seen them make the plays during preseason and practices and so now they are getting all of the reps so they’ll be ready.”