The Eagles have a Thanksgiving Day game at Dallas for the first time in a quarter century. It's for first place in the NFC East, but the teams have a ridiculously short prep period.
None of this registers much with Chip Kelly, the Eagles' coach said Monday in his day-after news conference.
"It's not like we're going to have a turkey or a cornucopia on the sideline," Kelly said. "We're just going to play football."
Kelly said the coaching staff spent the night at NovaCare, readying the Dallas gameplan. He said usually they get to dissect the previous game before working up what they're planning against the next opponents, but the coaches' tape of the Eagles' 43-24 Sunday victory over the Tennessee Titans wasn't available in time to do that.
"Today will be a big mental day for us," said Kelly, who wasn't planning a long practice, the day after a game.
"You just gotta be ready to go. We don't worry about things we can't control," Kelly said. "The players were here this morning, excited about the opportunity. It's a big game, a division game. Both teams have the same amount of time."
Kelly said that when he talked about rookie linebacker Marcus Smith needing to show more consistency in order to earn playing time, that was assuming good health from Casey Matthews and Emmanuel Acho. With Acho sustaining a groin injury Sunday, the picture changed.
"I'm confident in him," Kelly said. Smith played 14 snaps Sunday, after Acho was injured. Kelly said not to assume Acho is "dead" for Thursday; the Eagles are critically short on inside linebacker depth. (If Acho can hobble out there, even as an emergency fill-in, the Birds will probably take that.)
Acho was listed as a limited practice participant. He said he is optimistic about being able to play..
Casey Matthews will play a lot more, and defensive coordinator Bill davis indicated he will play a lot of dime, with Nolan Carroll as a linebacker. Kelly called Matthews "kind of a 'steady Eddie.' "
Kelly called the Dallas offensive line "vastly improved" from last season. The o-line dominated the Giants in the Cowboys' game-winning late touchdown drive Sunday night.
Like the Packers, the Cowboys play with offensive balance. "You can't just gang up on one thing," Kelly noted.
Kelly said Nick Foles will get a followup exam on his collarbone this week or next week.
Kelly said he thought Mark Sanchez "spread the ball around really well," despite "two or three throws he'd probably like to have back."