"It's not the first time I've started in my life," said Coleman, an Ohio State standout who was drafted in the seventh round. He said he would work with veteran free safety Quintin Mikell, the man whose legal hit drove Collie into Coleman, to prepare for the Redskins.
"You're talking about a four-year starter at Ohio State," Reid said yesterday, when asked about Coleman. "He's played in big games, and you know he's smart and physical. And he did a great job . . . without any practice, being able to step in there.
"The key now is, if you're a young guy, you have to continue to learn. And if Nate's not able to go this week, then you have to make sure that you know there's a little film out there on you, and teams are going to have time to try to exploit weaknesses, and you have to make those adjustments and make sure that you strengthen your weakness."
After Sunday's game and again yesterday, Coleman said he prepared for the Colts as if he were starting, even if he didn't get the practice reps with the first-team defense.
"I was ready for that opportunity," said Coleman, who credited Mikell with getting him through his first few series.
Coleman said that when Collie didn't get up Sunday, he couldn't help but think back to his hit on Ohio State teammate Tyson Gentry in spring practice in 2006, which left Gentry paralyzed from the waist down after he fell awkwardly.
"I kind of had a little bit of a flashback to my freshman year in college, but I didn't want to think that negatively," said Coleman, who said he prayed for Collie.
Coleman spoke to reporters before he learned he would not be fined. He said officials "have a hard time out there," and acknowledged his helmet hit Collie's helmet, after Mikell hit Collie.
"The ref made the right call. That's to the league to decide whether they want to fine me or whatever," Coleman said.
Later, a league spokesman released the following statement:
"The contact on Collie was initiated by Eagles safety Quintin Mikell (No. 27), who delivered a legal hit with his shoulder to the chest area of Collie. That contact propelled Collie toward Eagles safety Kurt Coleman (No. 42), causing Coleman to make helmet-to-helmet contact with Collie.
"Because the helmet-to-helmet contact was a result of Collie being driven toward Coleman by Mikell's legal hit, there will be no fine for this action.
"Though there will be no fine issued in this instance, the play was properly officiated. Officials have been instructed to err on the side of player safety, and when in doubt, will penalize in situations such as this for unnecessary roughness."
One final postscript to the Coleman-Collie penalty: The whole thing might have gone down very differently if the Eagles hadn't blown through all three of their first-half timeouts in a span of less than 6 minutes earlier in the second quarter. If Reid had retained a timeout, he could have challenged the ruling of an incomplete pass, which led to the assumption that Collie was a defenseless receiver when he was hit, which led to the penalty. Replays seemed to indicate Collie caught the ball, tucked it and was running with it when he was hit, but Reid had no recourse.
"I'm not going to go there. I'm not getting into all that," Reid said when asked about the possibility of a challenge.
In additon to Allen's injury, the Eagles are still seeking the source of the weakness that cornerback Ellis Hobbs is feeling in his hip. Reid said Hobbs will see a back specialist, Dr. Alexander Vaccaro, today at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. This all could lead to a roster move for a defensive back. Reid acknowledged he and general manager Howie Roseman discussed ex-Eagles corner Al Harris, released by the Packers, but Reid noted Harris is coming off a serious knee injury and is almost 36. Harris doesn't seem likely to return here.
The Eagles-Giants game Nov. 21 at the Linc will remain a Sunday night game, the NFL announced . . . Guard Max Jean-Gilles
, who suffered a concussion Sunday, had "a bit of a headache," Andy Reid
said. If Jean-Gilles can't play against Washington, Nick Cole
again will replace him . . . Michael Vick
said last night in his weekly radio appearance on ESPN 94.1 in Virginia Beach that he is "about 95 percent. The only time I'm hurting is really when I sneeze. Other than that, I think . . . having an extra couple days off due to the fact that we have Monday night game definitely will help me in my recovery" . . . The Eagles-Colts game gave CBS its largest NFL audience since 2007, a 17.1 rating and a 30 share . . . Foxsports.com's Adam Caplan
reported the Eagles will work out former Seahawks defensive end Nick Reed
, a speed rusher, today.
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