Eagles Notes: McCoy says he'll play Monday despite flu

Posted: November 05, 2011

LeSean McCoy said he will play Monday, despite a two-day stomach flu that he said was still making it hard to keep food down Friday.

"I'll be fine for the game," he said.

McCoy, the Eagles' most dangerous offensive weapon, practiced Friday after missing Thursday's workout.

"It felt good," he said. "I get bored just staying home resting."

As he looks ahead to a Monday night game that also will feature the Chicago Bears' star running back, Matt Forte, McCoy downplayed the praise that has come his way.

"I feel like the best back is Adrian Peterson, and then the next is Chris Johnson, still," McCoy said. Asked about the accolades for him, he added, "I don't really get too involved in that stuff because it comes and goes."

That stuff has been coming heavily for McCoy in the last two weeks, and particularly after he put up a career-high 185 rushing yards against Dallas, which at the time had the top-ranked run defense in the NFL (it is now fourth). Eagles coach Andy Reid even compared McCoy's moves to those of Barry Sanders, but "Shady" quashed that notion.

"Growing up, Barry Sanders was my favorite player. I've got a long way to get on his type of level. You're talking about one of the best players, I'll say best back, of all time," McCoy said. "I've got a lot of room for improvement to be in those type of shoes. I've got a long way to fill Brian Westbrook's shoes, so I don't really get wrapped up in who's who and who I'm better than and who I run like. That type of stuff will take care of itself."

Stopping Hester

Special-teams coordinator Bobby April has perhaps his toughest job of the year this week as the Eagles face Chicago return man Devin Hester. The Bears rank first in punt returns and ninth in kickoff returns, and Hester has scored once on each kind of runback this year.

"Any time he gets his hands on the ball you know he can make anything happen," April said. "He's better than good. Maybe the greatest returner of all time."

April would not say whether the Eagles will kick away from Hester, but he said there are risks in doing so. Trying to avoid him can give the Bears better field position.

"You don't want to get beat by a bomb, but you don't want to get killed by a bunch of hand grenades either," April said.

Despite the deeper kickoffs around the league due to the new kickoff point, April said Hester will run back kicks no matter where he fields it.

When the teams met last year, the Eagles punted three times, and Hester had one return for 9 yards. He had one kick return for 46, but his two other runbacks went for just 32 combined yards.

Eagles rookie punter Chas Henry is near the bottom of the league in net and gross punting, though the Eagles coverage ranks sixth.

Celek ready, Parker sits

Tight end Brent Celek (hip) was back at practice and appeared likely to play Monday. Akeem Jordan (concussion) was also back. But defensive end Juqua Parker sat out because of lingering problems from the high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 2. He said he had an MRI recently but it showed nothing wrong.

Parker said he still can feel the effects of the sprain at times during games. His status for Monday night is unclear.

Extra points

Defensive end Brandon Graham practiced again but said he isn't sure whether he will be activated this week. . . . McCoy won fan voting and was named the FedEx Ground player of the week for his game against Dallas. . . . Trent Cole can do the math. The Eagles have 22 sacks - sixth most in the NFL. The Bears have allowed 21 - 10th worst. So Cole thinks the defense can reach quarterback Jay Cutler. "I think we can get to him," he said. "I'm very confident in the defense."

Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214, jtamari@phillynews.com, or @JonathanTamari on Twitter.


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