McCoy set to return, begged Reid to play

When Andy Reid announced that LeSean McCoy would be starting Sunday’s home finale, reporters stared at each other blankly. Yes, the concussed running back has cleared all his testing. Yes, backup Bryce Brown has struggled to hang on to the ball. Still, it seems risky to put the Eagles’ franchise back in harm’s way with nothing left to play for other than pride.

But Reid informed the masses that the idea came from McCoy himself.

“He wants to play,” Reid said yesterday. “I’m going to keep a close eye on him. It won’t be a normal workload like you’d see during the season when he’s fresh. He’s coming off an injury. I understand that, so I’ll keep a close eye on him.”

Reid added that Brown and Dion Lewis would be active and worked into the rotation. The last thing the embattled coach needs is to have McCoy suffer a debilitating injury in a meaningless game, one which could very well be Reid’s final home game in charge of the Eagles. That’s another reason McCoy feels so strongly about getting back out there.

“I don’t live like that, just taking off,” McCoy said. “Even when I got hurt, people blamed coach for a bit but I want to be in there. I’m a competitor, and I’m going to finish the season out.”

While McCoy hasn’t enjoyed the same success he had in last year’s breakout campaign (1,309 yards, 17 rushing TDs), he is still knocking on the door of another 1,000-yard season. He has rushed for 750 yards through 10 games — five less than in 2011 — and two scores. McCoy’s mere presence in the backfield should immediately bolster the offense.

“He’s such a dynamic player,” said Nick Foles. “It’s exciting to have him back because he’s done so many great things here and just to have him healthy. I know he’s excited to be back out there. [He] just adds another dimension.”

Next man up

Brent Celek (concussion) practiced for the first time in almost two weeks. He told reporters that he was “back” and would suit up Sunday. They’ll need him after backup Clay Harbor

was placed on IR.

Meanwhile, FB Stanley Havili (hamstring) missed practice and WR Jeremy Maclin (back) was only a limited participant. If Havili can’t go, rookies Emil Igwenagu and Chris Polk would split the

fullback duties.

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