While preseason football is important for both rookies and veterans to get back in the swing of a full-speed, full-contact game, the Eagles don’t want to put any of their key players at risk against the Bears Friday night.
Which is why Riley Cooper will remain sidelined during the action, as well as cornerback Nolan Carroll. Neither is out with a serious injury, but this early in the football year, it’s better to be careful.
“He’s got a foot, and it’s a day‑to‑day thing,” Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said of Cooper, “and we’ll see how he feels.”
Jeremy Maclin, who is under intense pressure to pick up the slack for departed ace wide receiver DeSean Jackson also has a minor injury, but he still could see some game action.
In his press conference Wednesday Kelly seemed particularly anxious to get his first real look at Maclin, who missed the entire 2013 season.
“He catches the ball really well,” Kelly said, “and I anticipate, but I haven’t seen it, but you’ve seen it before with him on film, is that he’s really good with the ball in his hands after the catch and see if you can put him in some situations where he can catch and run. Just happy to see him get back out there full and get ready to run.”
Kelly contends it isn’t just the Eagles’ highly-hyped rookies he is excited to see in preseason action.
“No, I think you want to see everybody. You want to be able to evaluate them. We haven’t played a game since the beginning of January last year against the Saints, so get out there against a different color jersey and find out what we’ve got. There’s a certain amount of work I think everybody that’s healthy needs to get in, and then we’ll move on from there. There’s a lot things that can ‑‑ that we all need exposure to.”