Sam Bradford will not play in the Eagles' preseason opener Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, coach Chip Kelly said Friday. Mark Sanchez will start at quarterback. Bradford will play in the Week 2 game against the Baltimore Ravens.
"That's my decision," Kelly said. "He really wants to play. I don't think he's really happy with my decision. I just felt he's been out here for two weeks, done a really nice job. He'll get his first work against the Ravens when we get a chance to train with them for a couple days before we play, and he'll play in the Ravens game."
Kelly said Bradford "can go," but the coach decided to hold him back. Kelly's explanation was that Bradford first started playing 11-on-11 when training camp opened. He said the coaching staff went "back and forth" about playing Bradford. Kelly made the final call.
"He's been out here for two weeks," Kelly said. "I think the other guys got a little bit of a base. And I just feel more comfortable putting him in the Ravens game."
Even though Sanchez will start, he "won't play very much," Kelly said, adding that Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow will take most of the work.
"It will be a chance to see those guys in extended play," Kelly said.
Kelly said that Bradford will benefit from practicing against the Ravens leading up to the Week 2 game. He thought the Week 2 and 3 games offered enough of an opportunity for Bradford to play during the preseason.
"Sam understands," Kelly said. "I think he's disappointed, but I think he understands. It wasn't a debate."