Eagles' McCoy puts injury and defenders aside for 138 total yards

LeSean McCoy does a little dance heading toward the Eagles' sideline after a 29-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
LeSean McCoy does a little dance heading toward the Eagles' sideline after a 29-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Posted: October 11, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - First, LeSean McCoy danced on the field, juking once past 49ers nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin and again around linebacker Patrick Willis. And when he ran out of partners, McCoy sprinted away, setting himself up for a repeat performance in the end zone.

And once there, McCoy danced all alone.

That 29-yard second-quarter touchdown gave the Eagles a 17-7 lead and control of a game they would eventually win, 27-24.

Not bad for a guy playing with a broken rib.

"He fought through it," Eagles tackle Winston Justice said after the game. "He had a choice of whether or not to play, and he played. That says a lot about him."

McCoy cracked his rib in last week's loss to the Redskins and missed practice Wednesday and Thursday before returning to the field Friday. So was there any doubt he'd play?

"Nah," guard Max Jean-Gilles said. "LeSean's a soldier."

Whether soldier or mere football player, McCoy played as if he felt no pain, charging through would-be tacklers and stutter-stepping his way to the outside, regularly leaving a trail of defenders in his wake. In the end, he had 18 carries for 92 yards, complemented by 46 receiving yards on five catches.

In his first season as the starting back, McCoy has thus far matched the departed Brian Westbrook's impact - and then some. Before he even suited up Sunday, McCoy had rushed in four games for 1 fewer yard than Westbrook gained last season in eight. And while the former Eagle and current 49er was relegated to spot carries again Sunday, McCoy continued to flash the skills that made his predecessor expendable.

Some runs were quickly cut while others were the product of patience and vision. And when his blockers were beaten and his holes clogged, McCoy bullied his way forward for yards, never looking like a man some expected to sit out.

"I'm in a little pain, but not too much," McCoy said after the game. "You've got to throw that out. These guys fought hard, and you don't want to let them down."

On the Eagles' first possession, McCoy accounted for 18 of the team's 65 yards. He appeared to cap the drive with a 3-yard touchdown, only to have a holding penalty negate it.

No matter. Eagles tight end Brent Celek would score on that drive, and later so would McCoy with the dazzling 29-yarder, which left defenders behind and the crowd in near-silence. And once the Eagles gained the lead, McCoy helped ensure they'd keep it. He gained 49 total yards in the third quarter, when the Eagles held possession for 11 minutes, 22 seconds of the 15 minutes.

He fumbled for the second time of the season in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles recovered. Not a perfect night, but close.

In the locker room afterward, McCoy winced when informed that he'd be needed for a news conference.

"Ah, man," McCoy told the Eagles staffer. "My hair is nappy. I need a haircut."

But minutes later, he walked in the interview room, a backward Eagles cap covering up that hair. And on a night when he had just finished using the football field as his stage, McCoy smiled for the cameras.

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