LeSean McCoy would have been excused had he taken the Eagles' final two games off, but the running back was cleared to play after missing four games because of a concussion.
During the week, McCoy had spoken about his desire to get back on the field, and he demonstrated his hunger in Sunday's 27-20 loss to the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field. On a day when he didn't have much running room, McCoy rushed for 45 yards on 13 carries and caught nine passes for 77 yards.
"It felt good to be out there," McCoy said.
When asked last week why he would play when the games are meaningless for the Eagles, McCoy said, in effect, why not?
"This is my job," he said after the game. "They pay me a lot to go out and play ball."
McCoy said he was fatigued late in the game, but no matter how tired he was, he wanted to continue competing. On the team's final drive, which ended with an intentional-grounding call 5 yards short of the end zone, McCoy had four receptions for 30 yards.
"I wouldn't expect anything less from him," coach Andy Reid said. "That is just how he's wired. He loves to play the game."
Reid admired McCoy's workmanlike effort and his willingness to compete.
"Even when I took him out of the game, he battled me to get back into the game," Reid said. "He wanted to play, and that says something about the kid."
With the conjecture that this could have been Reid's final home game as Eagles coach, there has been no more vocal supporter of Reid than McCoy.
"I don't see any coaches as good as Coach Reid," said McCoy, who has 3,821 career rushing yards, moving past Ricky Watters into sixth place on the Eagles' all-time list. "I know him as a coach, and as a player, you fight for a guy like that."
After rushing for 1,309 yards and 17 touchdowns and earning his first Pro Bowl appearance last season, McCoy has rushed for 795 yards and just two touchdowns in 11 games this year. The Eagles, who were 8-8 last season, are 4-11.
"I don't see any positives this year at all," McCoy said.
Actually, one positive is that McCoy has returned to the field. He looks forward to Sunday's season finale against the New York Giants.
"I love to compete, and I feel every time you get on the field it is an opportunity to show how good you are," McCoy said.
"Plus," he said with a smile, "I haven't played in a while, and I don't want you guys to forget about me."