September 18, 2023   4 MIN READ

Healthy Optimism

Sirianni Expects Three Starters Back Vs. Bucs


Sure, the Eagles suffered another major hit to their secondary and defense with Avonte Maddox set to miss a long time with a torn pectoral muscle, but other injury news Monday was much better.

Head coach Nick Sirianni said Monday in his weekly press conference that the prognosis looks good for three starters who didn’t play Thursday night against the Vikings to play Monday night’s Week 3 road game against the upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Barring anything unforeseen, cornerback James Bradbury, safety Reed Blankenship and running back Kenneth Gainwell are all expected to play against the 2-0 Bucs at Raymond James Stadium.

James Bradberry

GETTY IMAGES: CB James Bradberry is expected to play Monday night after missing Thursday’s game from a concussion.

“I’m never going to put a timeline on anybody,” Sirianni said. “They’re not in the building today, but we feel like everyone has a chance to play this week against Tampa.

“We’ll see though. It’s a little bit too early for me to say, again, with them being out of the building today. I’ll have more information once they get back in. We feel good everyone has a chance to play this week.”

The Eagles, who improved to 2-0 with their 34-28 win over the Vikings, won’t convene at the NovaCare Complex for practice until Thursday.

Bradberry was out against Minnesota with a concussion he sustained in the season opener against the Patriots, with a short turnarond making it tough for him to return.

Blankenship and Gainwell each came out of the Week 1 with rib injuries that also couldn’t improve enough in time for the Thursday night game.

Richter Scale

Sirianni said the sideline rant from A.J. Brown against the Vikings registered a “two out of 10” on the frustration scale given his experience on NFL sidelines.

Brown, who had more than 1,400 receiving yards last year, caught just four balls for 29 yards against the Vikings, coming off a season opener where he went 7-for-79. He doesn’t have a touchdown yet this season, thanks to a 25-yard touchdown negated by a Rashaad Penny holding.

“Unfortunately, that’s just the way it goes,” Sirianni said of spreading the ball around. “But I do believe that all these guys in this building genuinely love each other and genuinely are happy for each other’s success.

“Do they want to contribute because they know [what] they’re capable? Of course. Do sometimes frustrations run high because they’re not able to? Of course. Those are all part of it.”

Bad Call

Sirianni admitted that he made the wrong call after D’Andre Swift’s touchdown in the fourth quarter put the Eagles ahead 33-21 with 4:13 to play.

Jake Elliott’s point-after conversion put the Eagles up by 13. Sirianni said he should’ve gone for two there to attempt a 14-point lead and make the Vikings need two touchdowns and two extra points just to tie the game.

“As I looked at that, I should have,” he said. “I should have gone for two there. I didn’t go through my process of what I do in that one. That’s before any drive in the fourth quarter – before the drive even starts – to have that conversation, ‘Hey, this is a two-point conversion opportunity’ or, ‘This is not.’”

Sirianni said his older brother, Mike, who’s the longtime head coach at Washington & Jefferson College, questioned him directly after the game.

“So I had to answer that tough question with him,” he joked.

The call didn’t come back to haunt the Eagles, although Minnesota scored a touchdown and executed an extra point on its next possession to whittle their deficit down to six.

Minnesota failed to execute its onside kick and had just seven seconds to go for its final drive.

Added Sirianni: “It’s always going to start with me, so error on my decision there.”

– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for

Listen to the latest “Inside The Birds” podcast featuring Adam Caplan and Geoff Mosher:

Or watch on YouTube:

About The Author

Comments are closed here.