- Phil Sheridan, ESPN Staff Writer
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PHILADELPHIA -- Chip Kelly was given a challenging first three games by the NFL schedule makers. On Thursday night, his Philadelphia Eagles will play their third game in 11 days.
“Yeah, we obviously had to make an adjustment this week,” said Kelly, who never had such a short week during his tenure at Oregon. “ When you play a game on Sunday, and you have to come back and play a game on Thursday, that's the one that really adjusts your schedule just because you only really have three training days. But we knew it before the season started.”
No one at the NovaCare Complex is complaining, though, for one reason. The Eagles’ opponents have had it tougher.
The Chiefs played Sunday at home, same as the Eagles. They have three days to prepare, same as the Eagles. But they have to travel to Philadelphia Wednesday and charter back after the game Thursday night.
“They went Sunday, Sunday, Thursday,” Kelly said. “We just went Monday, Sunday, Thursday. We had an 11-day deal, they had a 12-day deal.”
Sunday’s opponent, the Chargers, played even later on Monday night to open the season. The Chargers had a short week to prepare, same as the Eagles. But they had to fly across the country and play at 1 p.m. on the opposite coast -- which felt like 10 a.m. to their body clocks.
“It’s tough, but they’re in the same boat we are,” guard Todd Herremans said. “It’s not like they had any more time off than us. It’s not like we’re going against a team that had more time to prepare or rest than us.”
The challenge for both teams is recovering physically from a Sunday game in time to practice for three days and play with no days off.
“It’s tough trying to get your body back,” Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. “As far as coming off a tough loss, it’s nice to have the game quick to get over the loss and see how much better you can play.”
The payoff for the Eagles will be the extra three days to rest, recover and prepare for their Sept. 29 game in Denver. That will also be their first game that requires an airplane flight.
Of course, it also means trying to run their uptempo offense at altitude and pitting the second-worst pass defense in the NFL against Peyton Manning.
There are some things the schedule can’t help you with.