While some may have held out hope that LeSean McCoy would be able to return to the Philadelphia Eagles in time for Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals after being cleared to practice, it is not going to happen for the star running back, as his concussion symptoms are not completely gone.
McCoy has passed his baseline test that will allow him to return to the practice field, but he has not been cleared to play in a game still. Had the Eagles had a full practice on Monday, McCoy would have been listed as a non-participant.
Needing to be cleared by an independent neurologist, McCoy remains sidelined since suffering his concussion against the Washington Redskins back in Week 11. He has missed the Eagles’ last four games, with the fifth straight coming on Thursday Night Football at home against the Bengals.
Having been ruled out of the Week 15 game, one has to wonder if there is any reason at all to bring him back for either of the team’s final two games of the regular season against the Redskins or New York Giants. The Eagles are out of the playoff chase and, aside from trying to continue playing the role of spoiler after upsetting the Tamp Bay Buccaneers, the Eagles may be better off allowing McCoy even more time to heal. Not counting the last game in which Bryce Brown managed to do nothing on the ground, he had been playing very well in the Philadelphia backfield, meaning there is even less of a reason to bring McCoy back at all in 2012.
When asked if that could be the case, or if McCoy may play again for the Eagles in 2012, head coach Andy Reid said “there’s a chance,” if he’s cleared.
Whether he is cleared or not, I would not expect to see McCoy line up in the Eagles’ backfield again this season.