Eagles Rookie Bryce Brown Could Play Big Role Sunday
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Nobody wants to come out and say it, but nobody will deny it either: Bryce Brown is the Eagles backup running back, not Dion Lewis.
“Well, we’ll see, we’ll see,” said head coach Andy Reid when asked whether Brown or Lewis was his backup. “I can’t give you guys everything. I mean, come on. I’ve got to have one secret or two, c’mon.”
Reid’s joke elicited a laugh from reporters, but the lack of an answer was relatively telling. So was Brown’s response when asked.
The rookie asked me if I had seen practice. After telling him I had, he quipped that I knew who was getting the backup reps. It was either luck or veteran like savvy, as reporters aren’t allowed to release details from practice – only to try to get players to say what is already known.
The rookie seventh round pick has climbed the depth charts from the start of training camp and appears poised to get his share of touches against the Browns in the season opener on Sunday in Cleveland.
“I’m taking a lot more reps than I have been in the past, but you know, I’m not letting that get to my head,” Brown said. “I’m just being a part of the game plan, doing the things that they ask me to do and just getting prepared so when my time is called, I’m ready to go.”
AUDIO: Eagles RB Bryce Brown on taking more snaps
Brown ran for 122 yards on 28 carries (4.4 per attempt) during the preseason and scored a touchdown, while catching seven passes for 62 yards.
All along, starting running back LeSean McCoy has seemed more than open to having someone else share the workload. Last year, McCoy ran for 1,309 yards and 17 touchdowns on 273 carries while catching 48 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns.
“Any time you lessen the load, that guy is going to be more explosive, fresher, he’s going to be more effective because he’s not taking so many hits, so many shots,” said McCoy. “All those things add up.”
AUDIO: Bryce Brown on learning from LeSean McCoy
AUDIO: Bryce Brown on comfort level in Eagles offense
Safety Colt Anderson is out as he continues to rehab from knee surgery, while wide receiver Riley Cooper is out as he recovers from a broken collarbone.
Running back Dion Lewis is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.
The Eagles have six players who are listed as probable and all were able to practice today. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (knee), safety Nate Allen (hamstring), defensive end Jason Babin (calf), linebacker Jamar Chaney (hamstring), linebacker Casey Matthews (ankle) and tackle Nate Menkin (shoulder) will all be available Sunday.
Ryan Messick covers the Eagles for 97.3 ESPN FM. Follow him on Twitter.