Eagles Notes: Bradley confident he can play in Eagles-Packers playoff game

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard takes a look through a professional photographer's lens before the game.
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard takes a look through a professional photographer's lens before the game.
Posted: January 03, 2011

Stewart Bradley said he was confident he could play in Sunday's playoff game against the Packers, but the Eagles middle linebacker has a few more steps to clear before he can return from an elbow injury.

"I have trust in the team's training staff," Bradley said Sunday. "If they give me the OK and say it's good, then I'm ready to go."

When asked about Bradley, coach Andy Reid said there was "a chance" he could play against Green Bay.

"We just need to see how he does over the next couple of days," Reid said.

Even if Bradley is healthy enough to play, the Eagles could face a difficult decision. Bradley, of course, was the starting middle linebacker until he dislocated his elbow against the Cowboys on Dec. 12. But backup Jamar Chaney, who sat out Sunday's 14-13 loss to Dallas, did solid work as his replacement.

The rookie wasn't nearly dominating enough to make the decision to bench Bradley a no-brainer. But the argument could be made that he has played better against the run. Chaney tallied a team season high of 16 tackles against the Giants last month.

He was susceptible to the play-action pass, however, and has been a liability in pass coverage. But so, too, has Bradley. And he hasn't played in nearly a month.

"It's not like it's been a dramatic amount of time," Bradley said.

It's possible that both will see time at middle linebacker. Moving Bradley to strong-side linebacker is also an option, although a move this late in the season would be tricky. Strong-side linebacker Moise Fokou was the only regular on defense to start against the Cowboys.

There's also a decision to be made at right cornerback. Dimitri Patterson was benched last week in the second half against the Vikings and played Sunday, unlike his replacement, Joselio Hanson. Reid was noncommittal after the game.

"I thought Dimitri looked like he played well tonight," defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. "He was productive and into it and really bounced back from last week."

Jean-Gilles injures ankle

Max Jean-Gilles' first-quarter ankle injury was proof enough that the Eagles did the right thing in resting most of their starters in a meaningless game.

Unfortunately, the Eagles starting right guard had to get hurt to prove the point. Jean-Gilles' status for Sunday's playoff game was uncertain after the Cowboys game.

"It's the opposite ankle [left] than the one he had the surgery on" in 2009, Reid said. "He's moving around OK right now."

Jean-Gilles' injury also meant that Mike McGlynn couldn't take the day off. The Eagles starter replaced Nick Cole at center after Cole moved over and took Jean-Gilles' spot. McGlynn finished the game healthy.

Cole started ahead of Jean-Gilles as recently as Nov. 28, when the Eagles faced Chicago. But he clearly hasn't been as consistent as he was a year ago and would be a downgrade if Jean-Gilles couldn't go against the Packers.

There were no other significant injuries as a result of the game, Reid said.

Extra points

The game was an opportunity for a glimpse at the future, but for Gerard Lawson the future may come as soon as Sunday. Acquired two weeks ago to return kicks after Jorrick Calvin was placed on injured reserve, Lawson saw his first action with the Eagles. The cornerback averaged 24 yards on two returns. . . . Kicker David Akers' 143 points and 32 field goals on the season were the second-best of his career, behind his 144 points and 33 field goals in 2008. He also kicked 32 field goals last season. . . . While the Eagles set franchise marks for points in a season (439) and net yards (6,230), they ended up a touchdown shy of the team mark of 50, set in 1948.

Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Jeff_McLane.

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