Sam Bradford survived his Eagles debut and his surgically repaired knee stood the the test of a pair of big hits and the fury (and perhaps dirty play) of Terrell Suggs.
The big Ravens linebacker had a clear path to Bradford after the quarterback got rid of the ball in Saturday's 40-17 preseason victory, and instead of going for Bradford's body, Suggs went for his knees.
At least that's what Bradford thought he was doing.
“You would have to ask him but I think that is what he was trying to do," Bradford said.
“I was a little upset, I’m not sure if I can repeat what I said to him but it’s a part of the game. I’m sure that is not the last time something like that is going to happen this year, but hopefully it doesn’t.”
Suggs blames Chip Kelly for the hit, and says it is what the Eagles deserve for their decision to put so much faith in the oft-injured former Heisman Trophy winner Bradford.
“When you run the read-option you have to know the rules," Suggs, who's Ravens received a penalty after the play, said. "If you want to run the read option with your starting quarterback that has had two knee surgeries, that’s on you. That’s not my responsibility to update you on the rules. I could have hit him harder than that. I eased up."
Eagles center Jason Kelce expanded on the play, describing it from his perspective.
“I had some words that I exchanged with Suggs right after that," he said. "I’m sure that’s something they’re taught, to tackle the quarterback out of the read option. But it was a little weird that he went right after the knees, but I don’t think it was anything malicious on his end. I want to keep what was said on the field but I think that’s something they are probably coached to do and are told to do on the read option.
Luckily for the Eagles, Bradford walked off the field feeling healthy after finishing the game 3-for-5 and leading the Birds on a touchdown march. But more important, Bradford made it unblemished.
"He bloodied his lip a little bit, so I don't know what hit that came on," Kelly said. "But he did get a couple hits. No worse for the wear. Good step for him."
Now with the Ravens behind them, Bradford and the Eagles can begin to prepare for the third and most important preseason game next Saturday against the Packers. It's a game that typically sees the starting offense play nearly three quarters. But with the banged up and/or recovering Eagles roster, it remains to be seen how much playing time anybody will get.
"That’s Coach’s [Kelly] call how much I play next week," Bradford said, "but I think the more reps, the more work I get, the better. We’ve put in three good weeks at camp and I feel like I’ve got down a lot of reps in practice."