Eagle Eye: Is Chip Kelly being too conservative?
Patrick Chung has been sidelined since suffering a shoulder injury against the Chiefs. (AP)
With just a few days left before a critical NFC East showdown against the Giants, the Eagles still aren’t sure if they’ll have free safety Patrick Chung.
Chip Kelly on Thursday said Chung remains a limited participant at practice and isn’t medically cleared to play. Chung is the only player not practicing in full, as cornerback Brandon Boykin returned to full action after being limited Wednesday with a shoulder contusion.
Chung, who missed last Sunday’s game against Denver, hasn’t practiced since suffering a shoulder injury against the Chiefs on Sept. 19. Although he’s limited, Chung is participating in some team drills.
“Yeah, he was actually in 7-on[-7s] yesterday and running around,” Kelly said. “Did some stuff with us against each other. Is that enough for get him to get ready to play on Sunday? Leave that up to what [the team doctors] say in terms of [if] he’s reached his health.
“When they clear him from a health standpoint, then we make a decision from, ‘Does he have enough reps? Has he done all those other things for us to be able to put him in?’”
Rookie Earl Wolff started for Chung against the Broncos and will fill the void again Sunday at MetLife Stadium if Chung is still sidelined.
Even if Chung can participate fully Friday or Saturday, Kelly said he and his staff would need to decide if two practices in two weeks is enough for Chung to positively impact the defense. Kelly said he would be more concerned about rust than knowledge of the game plan.
“One thing about Pat is that he’s probably our most conscientious guy on our team when it comes to the mental part of things,” Kelly said. “Some guys when they’re out you can kind of see them drift a little bit.
“When Pat’s out, Pat’s mentally not out. He’s in there making the checks, understanding if it’s two-by-two we’re going to this, if it’s three-by-one we’re going to this. It’s not that Pat’s not involved in the game plan or what’s going on from a mental standpoint, but you also know with a guy who has been out for eight days there’s going to be a little rust there.”
Boykin on Wednesday had said he expected to be recovered enough to practice in full Thursday despite bruising his shoulder on special teams against the Broncos.
"It happened on the punt play, when I was running down the field,” he said. “I dove and tackled their punt returner and I kind of got drug to the ground from the back. [Wednesday] was more of a precaution since we were in pads and hitting. I didn't want to aggravate it, but I'll definitely be fine, ready for the game, full speed [Thursday]."