Sam Bradford practiced Tuesday with the Eagles and appears to be in line to start Sunday against the New England Patriots.
Bradford did just about everything at practice, according to teammates, and right tackle Lane Johnson said he expects Bradford to start Sunday. Bradford missed the last two games with a concussion and a separated shoulder.
The Eagles do not need to release a practice participation report until Wednesday. Bradford did not speak to reporters Tuesday but is expected to speak Wednesday. So will coach Chip Kelly. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said the Eagles want to see how Bradford recovers from a day of practice.
Rowe gets first start
With Nolan Carroll out for the season, rookie Eric Rowe will start at cornerback for the Eagles. Rowe was the team's second-round draft pick this year, but he has not had much of a role on defense this season.
"I think it's time for him to go out there and see what we have," defensive coordinator Bill Davis said. said. "He played 14 snaps matched up on [Lions WR Calvin Johnson] last week. They caught four on him and I think Eric grew a little bit. . . . I do believe in Eric and I do think we'll grow him and I think he's a young guy that will get more and more confident and we'll get more and more confidence in him."
Without Carroll, the Eagles could move use top cornerback Byron Maxwell on an opposing team's top receiver regardless of the side of the field. The Eagles used that tactic midway through the third quarter against Detroit.
Tight end Zach Ertz returned to practice Tuesday after missing last week with a concussion. Running back Ryan Mathews was on the sideline for the first time in two weeks, but he still has not been cleared to return from his concussion.
Wide receiver Josh Huff missed practice after suffering a concussion, but he expects to return this week. Defensive back Walt Thurmond did not practice. His injury was not known.
Left tackle Jason Peters (ankle) and center Jason Kelce both practiced. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said it was "pretty heroic" that Kelce even played last week because of a knee injury.
New lineman 'drinking out of fire hydrant'
The Eagles practiced with offensive lineman Barrett Jones for the first time on Tuesday. Jones, a former all-American at Alabama, was signed on Monday. The team is using Jones at guard and center.
Jones noted that this is not the Alabama offense he's learning. "Right now, it's like drinking out of a fire hydrant with all the signals and everything," he said. "I'm learning it. I'm working really hard at it. But I need practice, I need reps at it."
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has a sprained right knee and bone bruise. In a statement, the team and Gronkowski's family said he's "week-to-week" and any reported timetable is speculative. ESPN reported that Gronkowski is not expected to play Sunday against the Eagles.