Eagles' LeSean McCoy returns to practice

LeSean McCoy rushed for 220 yards and two TDs against the Cowboys last year.
LeSean McCoy rushed for 220 yards and two TDs against the Cowboys last year. (YONG KIM / Staff)
Posted: November 10, 2012

LeSean McCoy strutted through the Eagles locker room Friday afternoon covering his mouth, with a residual cough the last remnants of a flu and chest cold that kept him in bed earlier this week. The Eagles' star running back did not practice until Friday, when he was a partial participant two days before Sunday's home game against Dallas.

All indications are that McCoy will play Sunday.

"He looked pretty good today, actually," coach Andy Reid said. "He looked OK, but we're just kind of easing him back in. He's still got a little bit of a cough but he's getting there."

McCoy spent part of the week at his family's home in Harrisburg while recovering from the illness. He said he feels much better but still was "a little woozy" on the practice field. McCoy lost weight while he stayed in bed. He drank a lot of fluids but only recently resumed eating. Reid said he is not concerned about McCoy's conditioning on Sunday and McCoy does not anticipate problems.

"Once I get rolling and I get into it, get my blood going, I'll be fine," McCoy said.

Missing the week is not as much an issue for a player like McCoy, who is established within the offense and has an understanding of Dallas' defense.

"A lot of the guys are a lot of the same guys they've had and I have been familiar with them for a little bit," McCoy said. "I'm not a rookie. I know my assignments from the blitzes and pickups, the protections, the plays called. I think the coaches trust me on that in [those] types of situations. And I've been here before where I haven't practiced and actually played through different injuries."

McCoy rushed for 220 yards and two touchdowns against the Cowboys last season. That included a 30-carry, 185-yard performance in a 34-7 win Oct. 30, 2011. McCoy confessed he does not remember much about the game besides the rushing yardage.

His best games often come against division opponents. McCoy averaged 117.4 rushing yards per game against the NFC East last season. He averaged 86.2 yards per game against those teams in 2010.

"I get up for every game, so I don't know what it is," McCoy said. "It just happens like that."

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has a tendency to show an aversion toward the running game, but it might be prudent to give the ball to McCoy this week. The Cowboys have the No. 5 overall pass defense and the No. 15 overall rush defense.

Plus, the Eagles' depleted offensive line is better at run blocking than pass protection. Guard Evan Mathis admitted as much on Wednesday.

A steady running game also would help open quarterback Michael Vick's play-action fakes. With little time in the pocket, play-action could be a way for Vick to fool the defense and allow his receivers to run free downfield.

McCoy was coy when asked how he would be featured this week. He is often asked the question, but the Eagles remain a pass-heavy team. The score and situation could be mitigating factors, but first-half runs and red-zone runs will be important for the Eagles' success.

"I'm just waiting to see what happens this week," McCoy said. "We're going to have a nice game plan. We're prepared the right way. We'll see what happens Sunday."

Vick fined. The NFL fined Vick $7,875 for a low block on Saints safety Roman Harper during Monday's loss in New Orleans. The quarterback was penalized 15 yards on the play, which resulted in a 99-yard interception return by New Orleans cornerback Patrick Robinson.

Jackson on Vick. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson stood by the comment he made nearly two weeks ago that he thought Vick wasn't "as comfortable as he usually is" running the Eagles offense. Jackson also said he believes Vick knows how to improve those struggles. "I just stated what it was. I'm real and I can do that," Jackson said Friday. "I feel like as long as I've been here and done what I've done for the city, I [could say] he wasn't comfortable in the pocket because of blitzes and certain things."

Out. Guard Danny Watkins, running back Chris Polk, and wide receiver Mardy Gilyard have been ruled out. Watkins will miss his third straight game.

Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.

Staff writer Jeff McLane contributed to this article.

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