October 11 Philadelphia Daily News columnist Paul Domowitch:
“LeSean McCoy spent most of last week watching his teammates prepare for the 49ers while he stood on the sideline, or in the training room nursing a fractured rib.
But there he was last night, out on the field, fighting through the pain and helping his team win a game it absolutely, positively had to win. With the 4-1 Falcons coming to the Linc next Sunday, and a road battle against the Tennessee Titans right after that, a loss last night would’ve put the Eagles in a 2-3 hole from which they might not have been able to dig out.
“You gotta give him credit,” head coach Andy Reid said of McCoy. “He’s a tough kid. There was no doubt he was going to play. He went places a lot of people wouldn’t go.”
With a flak jacket protecting his injured rib, McCoy rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries and had five catches for another 46 yards as the Eagles hung on for a 27-24 win over the Niners.
That’s 23 touches and 138 yards from scrimmage.
With a broken rib.
No one would have blamed McCoy if the 5-11, 208-pounder had taken a rain check last night, if he gave the broken rib a week to heal.
Truth is, though, if he had done that, the Eagles probably would be 2-3 today, rather than tied for the division lead at 3-2.
Backup Mike Bell, can’t do the things McCoy can do. You can’t move Bell around the formation like the Eagles do with McCoy. You can’t count on him to bust screens for first downs like McCoy can.
Bell had just 8 yards on four carries against the Niners.
“I was in a little bit of pain, but not too much,” McCoy said after the game. “It is what it is. It’s a broken rib.
“All the guys are banged up. I didn’t want to let them down. I went out there prepared to play.”
McCoy’s biggest run of the game came with 1:53 left in the first half when he busted through a hole created by left guard Todd Herremans and center Mike McGlynn and went 29 yards for a touchdown that gave the Eagles a 17-7 lead.
Herremans and McGlynn got to the second level and double-teamed the Niners’ All-Pro linebacker, Patrick Willis, allowing McCoy to kick it into high gear and bolt down the field.
“I didn’t do anything but run for the touchdown,” the running back said. “I saw the crease and hit it. They gave me a nice hole to run through.”
McCoy credited the offensive line with giving his injured rib almost as much protection as his flak jacket.
“I didn’t take too many shots tonight,” he said. “Our offensive line did a good job.”
Herremans also saved McCoy later in the game when, with the Eagles clinging to a seven-point lead, he fumbled after getting hit by Willis and safety Taylor Mays. A hustling Herremans fell on the ball. Three plays later, David Akers booted a 45-yard field goal that ended up being the game’s deciding points.
The only other real mistake the second-year running back made came late in the fourth quarter. With the Eagles up by three, and trying to run out the clock, McCoy took a second-and-13 pass from Kevin Kolb. He mistook where the first-down marker was and dived for what he thought was the first down. But he was 2 yards short.
On third-and-2, he was stoned by the Niners for no gain, and the Eagles had to give the ball back to the Niners one last time.”
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