Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly gave quarterback Sam Bradford his endorsement to remain the starter heading into Week 9 despite dealing with turnover issues this season. The Eagles could have Kiko Alonso back against the Dallas Cowboys this weekend after the linebacker suffered a knee injury.
The Eagles are 3-4 coming out of the bye week and the NFC East division is still very up for grabs with the Giants leading at 4-4. The Eagles could put the Cowboys in a very tough spot with a win on Sunday, as that would send Dallas to 2-6 with six straight losses. The Eagles have had the bye week to get some players healthy, including Ryan Mathews, Jordan Matthews, Alonso and Nelson Agholor, who was able to return to practice for the team.
The Eagles offense has not been as good as expected this season and some of the blame has fallen on Bradford, but Kelly supported his quarterback coming out of the bye. Kelly said that he thinks "our quarterback is playing well" and that he has not considered making a change with Bradford. This season Bradford has more interceptions than touchdowns with 10 picks and nine scores and he is averaging less than seven yards per attempt. The Eagles have had some issues with drops this season and that was evident in Week 7, but Bradford has also struggled at taking care of the ball with 11 total turnovers.
This week Bradford was also in the news for his contract status, as Howard Eskin of 94WIP reported that Bradford rejected a contract extension before the season started. According to Fox Sports, Bradford reportedly rejected a four-year deal worth $18 million per year and that it was "Bradford's agent, not Bradford, that ultimately influenced the turning down of the deal."
The Eagles defense could get a boost on Sunday with Kiko Alonso returning, as Pro Football Talk reports that the linebacker could play for the first time since Week 2. Alonso said to the media on Tuesday that he has finished rehab for his knee injury and he wants "to get in there and help the team" on Sunday. Alonso initially was feared to have torn his ACL back in Week 2, but the injury did not end up as serious as expected.
DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews have been splitting time this season, but over the past few games Murray has been getting the bulk of touches. Mathews dealt with a groin injury in the last game for the Eagles and if that is lingering at all, Murray is a better start option for fantasy owners. Nelson Agholor could return for the Eagles after missing the last two games with an ankle injury. CBS Sports reports that Agholor was able to return to practice on Tuesday.