PHILADELPHIA - A day after the carnage that was an injury-plagued 27-20 season-opening loss to Green Bay at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid addressed the health of his team and painted a pretty bleak picture.
Leonard Weaver, a Pro Bowl fullback in 2009 and a key contributor to the running game, will have season-ending surgery for what Reid termed “a severe” torn ACL in his left knee.
No timetable was given for Weaver’s surgery.
Likewise for starting center Jamaal Jackson, who Reid originally said had a torn biceps muscle, but clarified it to be a triceps tear Monday. Nonetheless, he will undergo a season-ending procedure on Tuesday.
Both players were placed on the injured reserve list on Monday.
As for the team’s concussed starting quarterback Kevin Kolb and promising fourth-year linebacker Stewart Bradley, they will be subjected to the NFL’s new battery of protocols to deal with concussions.
In a better effort to deal with a rising rate of serious head injuries, the league has taken steps to restrict players from returning to the field too soon, and went as far as to issue a “flyer” to be hung in all 32 teams’ locker rooms this season instructing how to be deal with such injuries.
To that end, Kolb and Bradley will remain in Philadelphia when the team leaves for Detroit in preparation for Sunday’s game versus the Lions. In compliance with NFL protocol, both will be evaluated in three and five-day increments before they can be cleared to play.
The process started Monday and will continue through Saturday, putting both players’ availability for Sunday in serious jeopardy.
“You have to go through this protocol. I can’t tell you (they won’t play Sunday). They have to go through this whole evaluation process before they can be cleared. I don’t want to do anything that puts these guys at risk,” Reid said Monday.
Kolb was chased down from behind by the Packers’ Clay Matthews on a third-down scramble and landed hard on the ground under the weight of the tackle. His head and left knee were driven into the turf simultaneously as he fumbled the ball out of bounds.
Kolb came back out for the next series and was 5-of-10 for 24 yards before being replaced by Michael Vick to start the second half. Vick was crisp in hitting on 16-of-24 throws for 175 yards and a touchdown in leading Philadelphia back from a 17-point deficit in the fourth. He ran for another 103 yards on 11 attempts, but Reid said, if healthy, Kolb is still his starter.
“We stayed on top of it and made the decision when symptoms were there. He was showing signs the second time he came off and Rick (team trainer Burkholder) evaluated him. We had to get him out of there. When he came off the initial time he was fine,” said Reid.
Bradley’s head injury was apparent right away after a teammate’s leg slammed into the side of his helmet while making a combined tackle. He got up initially, but fell to the ground trying to walk off and stayed seated on the field for a while.