Chip Kelly continued to support Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper, who had three catches for 13 yards Sunday in a 24-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Kelly has routinely stood up for Cooper throughout the season when asked about the player's production.
Cooper has made 46 catches for 470 yards this season. Kelly pointed out that Cooper had 47 catches all of last season. But Cooper also averaged 17.8 yards per catch with eight touchdowns last season. This year, Cooper has averaged 10.2 yards per catch and one touchdown.
"That's not Coop's fault, either," Kelly said. "The ball needs to be thrown to him in certain situations. We're facing a lot more zone coverage this year than last year. People played us in a ton more man last year.
"Obviously we set a record for explosive plays in the [NFL]. I don't think that's going to be the same thing going in, so people play a lot more off man and play off of us more than they did a year ago. But I don't think that has anything to do with Coop's ability. You look at the catch total, he's one off of where he was [with three games to go] from last year, and he has two drops."
Cooper was the target on Mark Sanchez's interception on Sunday. Kelly absolved Cooper of responsibility on the play.
"Coop was exactly where he needed to be," Kelly said. "Ball was thrown behind him."
The Eagles signed Cooper to a five-year, $25 million contract after last season. Kelly said he also values Cooper's blocking on the perimeter. Cooper had a key block on Jeremy Maclin's touchdown in the first quarter against Seattle.
Checking on Foles
Quarterback Nick Foles is due for a follow-up examination after the home game against Dallas on Sunday, according to a source close to the situation. Foles broke his collarbone on Nov. 2, and he has not been cleared to practice. The original estimate for his recovery was six to eight weeks, which would be Dec. 14 to 28.
Foles was examined on Nov. 28. The bone was healing properly but had not completely healed, the Eagles said.
The Eagles are 3-2 with Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback. They were 5-2 in the games Foles played. The two quarterbacks combined for the Nov. 2 win.