They weren’t so lucky against the Baltimore Ravens in week two.
According to a report by CSNPhilly’s Derrick Gunn, the Eagles likely lost starting center Jason Kelce for the remainder of the season.
Kelce injured his right knee on the first drive of the third quarter. He rolled around on the ground in pain, clutching his knee. He was carted off the field and replaced by 28-year old backup center/guard Dallas Reynolds, who had never played an NFL snap before.
“Yeah, I don’t know who it was, but whoever it was, [RB LeSean McCoy] made him miss and it just so happened that right when I was putting my foot down and planting, they were going headfirst into my knee,” Kelce explained about the play that took him out of action.
The initial diagnosis on Kelce’s injury is that the 24-year old suffered a sprained knee, but a report by Gunn indicated that an MRI tomorrow will likely reveal that Kelce’s season is over.
“It doesn’t hurt that much right now, but it doesn’t feel like I can go out and play a game today. I’ll say that,” Kelce said. “I mean, that’s what most of the rolling around and everything was. Not even so much of it was pain as it is just shock and fear that something serious is wrong.”
Reynolds played relatively well after replacing Kelce, helping the Eagles mount a late comeback and win 24-23.
“He did well,” Kelce said about Reynolds. “It didn’t seem like he got pushed back very much and it seemed like he was making the right calls. Dallas is a very good player. He was good for us in training camp and he’ll get a good opportunity here, hopefully barring how serious the injury is for me, to prove himself.”
If Kelce is out for the year, it would mark the second time in three years that the Eagles lost their starting center for basically a full season. In 2010, veteran Jamaal Jackson tore his triceps in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers and missed the entire season.
Kelce started all 16 games last year and was picked by many, including me, to have a Pro Bowl season in 2012. But if he cannot play again this year, the Eagles will need to either sign a veteran or play the remainder of the year with Reynolds, an unproven rookie.
Speculation immediately arose that the Eagles would bring Jackson, who is only 32 and remains a free agent after no team signed him for the 2012 season. But Jackson tweeted in response to a few fans and said that he does not expect the Eagles to give him a call. I’m not sure why because he was on the team last season and was a borderline elite player three years ago.
Kelce is the second starter on the offensive line to suffer a major injury. Left tackle Jason Peters, arguably the best player on the team, ruptured his Achilles tendon in March and will undoubtedly miss the entire 2012 season.
This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. You can follow Bryn on Twitter by clicking here and here. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.