Eagles QB Bradford hopes to play long enough to get into rhythm in 3rd exhibition game



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PHILADELPHIA — Quarterback Sam Bradford would embrace the chance to play deeper in the Eagles' third exhibition game in Green Bay on Saturday.

But whether he plays at all depends on many different factors, Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly said Thursday.

"Start with the weather," Kelly said, noting the potential of rain in Wisconsin.

Bradford expects to play for the second time this preseason as he makes his way back from two serious knee injuries. The No. 1 overall draft pick from 2011 tore his left ACL twice in a 10-month span before coming to the Eagles in a trade from St. Louis.

He played one drive against the Baltimore Ravens last weekend, leading the offense to a touchdown and taking two big hits that knocked him to the ground.

Kelly has usually played his starting quarterback into the third quarter of the third preseason game, but Bradford's prior injuries could change that blueprint. Bradford was held out of the first exhibition game.

"The biggest thing would just be getting into a rhythm," Bradford said. "Obviously last week to play the one drive, that was great. But it's nice to go on the field multiple times, establish that rhythm, come over (to the sideline), work on communication with the (offensive) line, with the receivers, talk about what we're seeing on the field, so when it gets to the regular season that's not something that we're trying to work through."

Because starters don't usually play in the fourth preseason game, Bradford said extended action against the Packers would be his best opportunity to be prepared for the Sept. 14 season opener in Atlanta. He said it's good to feel the speed of the game.

"I think it ramps up when you're out there," he said. "The preseason is one speed, but even when you get to the regular season it ramps up another level."

Kelly is banking on a healthy, productive Bradford to turn his career around and lead the team's fast-paced, no-huddle offense.

The 2008 Heisman Trophy winner wasn't medically cleared for all football activity until Aug. 2, the start of training camp, but Kelly downplayed Bradford's injury history as a factor in determining playing time for Green Bay. At practice this week, Bradford removed the sleeve he had been wearing around his left knee.

"I think he's beyond the cautious, physically," Kelly said. "It's just: What do we want to get done? What do we want to get accomplished? What do we need to see?"

Kelly said he's seen daily progress from Bradford throughout the month of camp.

"He's continuing to get comfortable in what we're doing," Kelly said. "I see him not making the same mistakes. He's a really coachable guy and I think he's got a great understanding of the game of football"


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