Bradley Fletcher played 66 of 75 defensive snaps on Monday. (USA Today Images)
Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher sustained a concussion in Monday’s season opener against the Redskins.
Fletcher will have to pass through a series of tests and examinations, and then be medically cleared by an independent neurologist, before he can rejoin the Eagles at practice.
Head coach Chip Kelly wasn’t sure when Fletcher, the starter at left cornerback, suffered the head injury. Fletcher played almost the entire game, logging 66 of the 75 total defensive snaps.
“We don’t know [when he can return],” Kelly said Tuesday. “There’s a protocol to this. But he’s the only guy that’s a concern for us right now.”
Other than Fletcher, everyone else made it through with no major bumps and bruises and all hands are expected on deck when the Eagles reconvene Wednesday to practice for Sunday’s home opener against San Diego.
It’s not known who will replace the fifth-year corner and first-year Eagle in the base and nickel defenses at practice and against the Chargers if Fletcher isn’t ready to return by Sunday. Brandon Boykin, the second-year nickelback, has practiced on the outside and competed to start there during the preseason. He’s the likeliest candidate to step into Fletcher’s role.
Also among the reserves are newcomer Shaun Prater, rookie Jordan Poyer and Brandon Hughes, who was released Saturday but re-signed Tuesday to round out the 53. By cutting him before the season opener and then re-signing him, the Eagles didn’t have to guarantee Hughes’ 2013 base salary.
Hughes broke his hand in the third preseason game and underwent surgery, but Kelly said the veteran would be able to practice Wednesday. Kelly said Hughes’ re-signing was not related to Fletcher’s injury.
“I think Brandon being back is a huge help for us,” Kelly said, “but I know we had talked about bringing Brandon back all along.”