Eagles' Brent Celek sidelined with concussion

Posted: December 10, 2012

TAMPA, Fla. - Brent Celek sustained a concussion on the first play from scrimmage in Sunday's 23-21 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Celek was helped off the field after a one-yard catch and returned to the locker room for examination.

He is the third key starter on the Eagles offense to suffer a concussion this season. Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy continue to sit with lingering concussions. There was no word after the game on the severity of Celek's concussion.

"For him to go out, I'll tell you it was a pretty good [hit]," coach Andy Reid said. "He's a tough kid."

The Eagles have only three days before they play Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals. If Celek doesn't play, every expected opening day starter on offense except guard Evan Mathis and fullback Stanley Havili will have missed time because of injuries this season.

Chaney back in

Jamar Chaney replaced Akeem Jordan at linebacker in the Eagles' base defense. Chaney played at strong-side linebacker, with Mychal Kendricks at weak-side linebacker.

Chaney finished with four combined tackles and one pass deflection.

"It's just one game, one week," Chaney said. "But no matter what it is, you want to go out there and put good film for the Eagles and for the other teams."

The move also aided Kendricks, who appeared to struggle during the middle of his rookie season. Kendricks played weak-side linebacker in college, so he ably moved over and recorded seven combined tackles, including one for a loss, and three pass deflections.

"That's probably his natural position," Reid said. "We've been working him at the strong side because of his coverage ability, and the position he plays in nickels kind of transfers over. So he didn't have to double dip on the learning part of it. I thought it was just time to scoot him over there."

Asomugha dinged

Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha left the game in the first half with a neck injury and a thigh bruise but returned in the second half.

"It was up and down," Reid said. "But he battled through it."

While Asomugha was out, Curtis Marsh filled in. Marsh lined up in the slot when Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson moved inside, with Brandon Boykin and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie playing on the outside.

Duo debuts

The Eagles debuted rookie linebacker Ryan Rau and rookie wide receiver Marvin McNutt. Rau was promoted from the practice squad on Saturday and recorded one tackle. McNutt was promoted last week and activated for the first time Sunday. He had two passes targeted in his direction.

Vick, McCoy, safety Kurt Coleman (bruised chest) and defensive tackle Mike Patterson were all declared out before the game. Colt Anderson made his first start of the season in Coleman's place.

The other inactives were running back Chris Polk, wide receiver Greg Salas and tackle Matt Kopa. Polk was questionable and continues to nurse a toe injury. Kopa was just signed this week, and Salas is still learning the offense.

Fans in Tampa

Even in a down season, hoards of Eagles fans made the trip to Tampa. The support was heard on the Eagles sideline.

"The fans were unbelievable. You got to give them credit," coach Andy Reid said. "I don't know who had more fans, us or them."

When the official's review of the Eagles game-winning touchdown was announced, Reid joked that there were so many cheers he didn't know whether the play was upheld or overturned.

"When we scored at the end, you heard the crowd erupt, and you heard all the Eagles fans here supporting us," quarterback Nick Foles said. "That was pretty special, and I want all the Eagles fans to know we heard it."


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

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