Mark Sanchez will start at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in place of injured Sam Bradford.
Bradford was ruled out Friday with a concussion and a left shoulder injury.
Eagles coach Chip Kelly says he has confidence in Sanchez, an eight-year veteran.
Also out for the Eagles is running back Ryan Mathews (concussion). Left tackle Jason Peters did not practice on Friday and is questionable for the game with a back injury.
Bradford suffered his injury when he was sacked in the third quarter of a loss last week to the Miami Dolphins. Sanchez relieved him and completed 14 of 23 passes for 156 yards. He threw a crucial end-zone interception with less than five minutes to play.
“Just got to be smart with the ball and understand the situation and what we need at the time,” Sanchez said this week. “We’ll do a good job pushing the pace and then analyzing where we’re at and what we’re going to accomplish on that specific play.”
Sanchez took over as Eagles quarterback almost the same time last year when starter Nick Foles went down with a broken collarbone in Week 8 against the Houston Texans. The veteran started 60 of 62 games with the New York Jets before signing with the Eagles as a free agent in 2014.
“You get the chance to play,” Sanchez said. “You relish the opportunity and make the most of it.”
This marks the fourth time in Bradford’s six-year career that he will miss time with an injury. The quarterback, whom the Eagles acquired in an offseason trade from the St. Louis Rams, has only played a 16-game season in his rookie season, 2010, and again in 2012. He missed six games in the 2011 season. Then missed nine games in 2013 and all of 2014 with two separate ACL tears.
The Eagles (4-5) can move into a first-place tie in the NFC East by winning, with the New York Giants (5-5) on a bye. The Eagles defeated the Giants earlier this season and meet them again the final day of the regular season.
NOTES: The Eagles placed safety Jerome Couplin (shoulder) on season-ending injured reserve on Friday and promoted safety Ed Reynolds from the practice squad. Couplin had been a key player on special teams for the Eagles with eight tackles this season. Reynolds, a 2014 fifth-round draft pick out of Stanford, spent all of his rookie year and all of this season on the practice squad.
Republished with permission of the Associated Press.