Against his own wishes, Sam Bradford will have to wait another week before he plays in a preseason game.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Friday that Bradford, who’s taken almost all of the first-team quarterback reps throughout training camp, won’t play in the preseason opener Sunday against the Colts at the Linc.
Mark Sanchez will start, followed by Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow.
Bradford is coming back from his second left anterior cruciate ligament tear in a 10-month span and wasn’t given full medical clearance until the Aug. 2 start of training camp.
Kelly said Bradford wants to play but the coach made the decision to hold him out of the opener.
“I don’t think he’s real happy with my decision,” Kelly said. “I just felt he’s been out here for two weeks, done a really nice job. He’ll get his first work against the Ravens when we get a chance to train with them for a couple days before we play them [next Saturday].”
The Eagles and Ravens are slated for joint practices at the NovaCare Complex next week, starting Tuesday. At least two sessions will be in pads, which gives Kelly an opportunity to evaluate Bradford against another opponent before Bradford makes his preseason debut.
In partnership with NBC Sports Philadelphia
“Other guys have a little better base,” Kelly added, “and I just feel more comfortable putting him in the Ravens game.”
Bradford, the former No. 1 overall who was acquired via trade with the Rams in exchange for Nick Foles and a second-round pick, didn’t play in last year’s preseason opener as he was coming back from a torn ligament in his left knee.
He then re-tore the same ligament in the Rams’ third preseason game. Bradford hasn’t played an NFL game since Oct. 20, 2013.
Kelly said Bradford is healthy enough to play but noted the season-ending foot injury suffered by Washington tight end Niles Paul in Thursday’s night preseason game against the Browns and the fine line between deciding whether or not to play Bradford.
“I think he can go. I know he’s disappointed,” Kelly added. “It’s just my call. … You look at what happened to Niles Paul last night for the Redskins. He’s a tremendous football player who’s done for the year right now so there’s that fine line in preseason games where you are.
“[Bradford’s] first 11-on-11 was two weeks ago. We went back and forth around it but I made the final call. We’re going to sit him this game and he’ll be able to play against the Ravens.”