Monday, August 24, 2015

Sam Bradford takes a hit - and gets up

Sam Bradford had talked for weeks about his desire to get back on the field, take a hit, and then get on with his NFL career.

What happened Saturday night in his first NFL action in more than a year probably wasn't what he had in mind.

After a routine handoff, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs zeroed in on the Eagles QB, and his twice-reconstructed left knee.

That gasp you heard from one end of Eagles nation to the other was Birds' fans holding their breath, waiting to see if Bradford would get up.

He did. And he offered a few choice comments to Suggs, who was flagged for a rare roughing the quarterback penalty on a running play.

A couple of plays later, Bradford took a massive - and legal - hit from another Ravens D-lineman.

Bradford seemed stunned, but he got back to his feet and led the Eagles to a TD on his only series of the game.

Bradford went 3-for-5 in his abbreviated debut, but it's hard to underestimate just how big this moment was.

It was what everyone was wondering since Chip Kelly sent Nick Foles and a draft pick to the Rams for the oft-injured former No. 1 draft pick.

Could Bradford stay healthy? Would his left knee hold up under the rigors of the barely controlled mayhem that is NFL Football. We didn't have to wait long to find out.

The Suggs' hit was a classic shot to the knee, the kind that often results in a QB writing in pain on the ground with his arms holding his lower leg.

Bradford seemed to at least see Suggs coming and was able to brace himself for Suggs as the linebacker went airborne and came in low on the Eagles QB.

For his part, Suggs defended the play, and reminded people that this was a real, live NFL game. He said that if the Eagles planned to exspose Bradford and his knee to hits in a read-option offense, that's not his problem. No red shirt for Bradford here. The only red here was the ire of Bradford, his teammates and Eagles fans at what seemed like a cheap shot.

It won't be the last time that happens this year.

Make no mistake, the fact that the Eagles bulldozed the Ravens for the second straight impressive preseason win was not the most important thing that happened at Lincoln Financial Field Saturday night.

Sam Bradford got hit. Right on that troublesome left knee. And he got up.

You can exhale now, Eagles fans.

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