Riley Cooper and Nolan Carroll are both likely out for the Eagles’ preseason opener against the Bears on Friday night in Chicago, head coach Chip Kelly said before practice Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex.
Cooper, a projected starting receiver, has been out of practice with a foot injury and Carroll, a third outside corner who’s enjoyed a very good camp, has what Kelly called “a muscle deal.”
The Eagles face the Bears at 8 p.m. at Soldier Field in the first of four preseason games. It’s the Eagles’ first preseason game in Chicago since 1994.
The Eagles’ other starting receiver, Jeremy Maclin, who’s been battling soreness in both legs, said Tuesday he’ll definitely be ready to play Friday in what would be his first game since the end of the 2012 season.
But Kelly said that remains to be seen.
“Not sure about Mac,” he said. “We’ll see.”
Kelly continues to say Cooper’s injury is not serious, even though it will keep him off the field in Chicago.
“It’s a day-to-day thing and we’ll see how he feels,” he said.
For what it's worth, Cooper had his walking boot off Wednesday and was participating in parts of the Eagles' low-key afternoon walkthrough.
If Cooper, Maclin and Jeff Maehl (foot) are all out Friday, Arrelious Benn and either B.J. Cunningham or Ifeanyi Momah would likely start at wide receiver outside, with Brad Smith starting out in the slot and rookie Jordan Matthews expected to be the second man in.
Kelly said Carroll’s injury is also not serious.
“It’s just a couple-day thing, and he should be back soon,” he said.
Kelly said his starters will play sparingly, and he said the number of snaps they do get will depend on how they perform.
“We’ll try to get our starters and 1's somewhere between 10 and 15 snaps just depending how the game goes and then we’ll just have to see after that,” he said.
“It really just depends on offensively or defensively how much success you’re having. Could be you get a couple three and outs and then you’ve got to go back out there, whereas you get two decent drives, we feel that’s what we’re aiming for right now. But it’s going to be kind of a fluid situation.”
Kelly said Alex Henery will get the first crack at kicking off and any possible field goals, but he said special teams coach Dave Fipp also hopes to get rookie Carey Spear some work as well.
“Alex will start,” Kelly said. “I think Dave wants to see if we can get Carey a kick, but a lot of times that’s fluid. It depends how the game goes. Alex will start and we’ll see how it goes from there.”