Friday, December 20, 2013
Boykin, Wolff probable for Eagles-Bears
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Eagles' injury report contained mixed news for Sunday night's game against the Chicago Bears.
Safeties Kurt Coleman (hamstring) and Colt Anderson (knee) are out. That has more impact on the Eagles' special teams than their defense. Both players are key members of the kicking and return teams.
The defense will be helped by the likely return of safety Earl Wolff, who is listed as probable after missing five games with a knee injury. Nickel cornerback Brandon Boykin, who was knocked out of last week's game with a concussion, was also listed as probable.
That gives defensive coordinator Bill Davis close to a full complement of defensive backs as he tries to cope with the Bears' array of receiving options. Chicago likes to use wide receiver Brandon Marshall in the slot a fair percentage of the time.
"They look for him," Boykin said. "I plan on being matched up with him quite a bit."
Although the Eagles have faced Denver's group, Dez Bryant, Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson, Boykin said he thought the Bears' Marshall and Alshon Jeffery presented the biggest overall challenge to the secondary.
"You're talking about guys that are 6-3, 6-4 and they're both playing at a very, very high level," Boykin said. "Normally, you might have two big guys, but one of them is better than the other. I don't think that's the case. They can throw to either one of them."
"Whenever the quarterback throws the ball in the air," Wolff said, "they go and get it. Those are the big plays we're going to have to stop. I feel like we're up for the challenge."
Wolff may be eased back into action after missing so much time. Patrick Chung could start and play a fair amount.
"I feel like I came in this week in a groove more than I was last week," Wolff said. "Last week, I was still kind of trying to get back into it. Now I feel like I'm pretty much back to where I was before."
As for special teams, the Eagles are likely to have linebacker Najee Goode back from his hamstring injury. He was also listed as questionable. Keelan Johnson, a safety signed off the practice squad earlier in the week, could also be active and help fill in for Coleman and Anderson.
Linebacker Mychal Kendricks (knee) and wide receiver/special teamer Brad Smith (hamstring) were also listed as questionable.