The biggest focus of Thursday's Eagles OTA practice was Sam Bradford. Prior to the team's training session, Chip Kelly was asked about the injury status of the veteran quarterback.
"Yeah, he is on schedule," said the Eagles coach. "We all think there's three phases: there's medical rehab, there is performance rehab, and then there's prepared to play. He's probably right at the tail end of medical rehab. He'll probably start throwing some seven‑on‑seven next week. I think he's right on schedule in terms of where he is."
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Wednesday night that Bradford, who is recovering from an ACL injury suffered late last summer, has been limited during the team's offseason workouts. This much was confirmed on Thursday when media was allowed to watch practice.
As I detailed in my practice notes, Bradford did not participate in team drills. He didn't even warm up with the team. Instead, did some warmup activities off to the side on a separate field before participating in some quarterback group drills. Bradford wore a noticeable brace on his left knee, as pictured here.
Bradford is slowly but surely making progress. According to Kelly, next week's practices mark the start of a new phase in the quarterback's recovery.
"He's going to start throwing seven‑on‑seven next week, Kelly said. "That's the next step for us."
To no surprise, Kelly declined to give an exact timetable regarding Bradford's recovery. In the meantime, Mark Sanchez is running with the first team, Mark Barkley is running with the second team, and newly acquired Tim Tebow is running with the third team.
The Eagles would certainly love to have Bradford back on the field sooner rather than later. Once he is healthy enough to play, the next challenge will be mastering the offense. Look no further than Sanchez's struggles last spring to see that there's a bit of a learning curve. Despite this, Kelly doesn't seem too concerned about the delay.
"No, not the way Sam approaches things. I don't think it sets him back. Everybody's got to deal with whatever they're dealt. We have full confidence that he will be back, though."