The Eagles finally made official Friday what everyone (including injured Michael Vick) already knew -- Kevin Kolb would be starting Sunday night in San Francisco.
And Vick won’t be the only Eagles starter relegated to street clothes against the 49ers, a point illustrated by coach Andy Reid Friday:
“The three players that are out and will not travel are [QB] Michael [Vick], [CB] Asante Samuel didn’t pass his [concussion] test. We gave him another one this morning and he didn’t pass that. And then, [WR] Riley [Cooper] was just the opposite; Riley passed his test, actually two days after the event, and then had symptoms, so we’re not going to put him at risk by putting him out there.”
The bad news is that the explosive game of Vick won't be displayed against the win-hungry Niners. But, the good news is that in his two full starts last season, Kolb threw for more 300 yards and four TDs. Even if Kolb just replicates the TD total the Birds should be in good shape Sunday night.
And other Birds are dealing with injuries but should be ready to go Sunday night:
“[G/C] Nick Cole didn’t practice today, but he practiced the rest of the week, and he’ll be good to go, I just kept him off the turf today. And then, [G] Reggie Wells was sick, had an illness, so we kept him in, he’ll travel and play if needed. And then [RB] LeSean McCoy practiced the whole practice and felt pretty good. So, I’m anticipating that he’ll be able to play the full game and do what he needs to do there.”
Shady McCoy getting out there despite a fractured rib shows his toughness -- something never lost on Eagles fans -- but the Birds still will likely make moves to accommodate a security blanket in the backfield.
Expect running back Joique Bell to be active after spending last week on the inactive list. He will give the Birds an extra back in case McCoy has trouble.
Another recently inactive who should find himself on the field Sunday is tight end Clay Harbor. He could likely fill the fourth receiver role vacated by Cooper. Harbor is a big target who could help Kolb with quick releases.
But, the Birds ave another -- shorter option -- to replace Cooper:
“Well, I’ll travel [WR] Chad [Hall] out there. I haven’t made any moves, but I will travel Chad with us.”
Hall, who was on the practice squad, took reps with the first and second teams in place of Sunshine Cooper and Reid has confidence that he can play if they need him, Reid said.
The Air Force grad said Friday that he is ready:
“Yeah, mentally I’ve been studying the game plan, just knowing every position, because we’ve only got maybe three [wide receivers] right now depending on Riley. I’m just preparing like I do every week though, in case something happens during practice or anything like that. So it’s the same thing I’ve done every week, but now I’m just going on the trip and we’ll see what happens.”
“Hopefully I get the opportunity and I’ll make the most of it, that’s for sure.”
Well that opportunity came when the Birds released Antwan Barnes and picked up Hall's contract Saturday.
As for corner expect Joselio Hanson to fill in for Samuel. The veteran corner seemed ready:
“I usually study like I’m going to start anyway, so nothing’s really changed for me,” Hanson said.