Sam Bradford’s Shoulder Injury Leaves Mark Sanchez In Charge Of Chip Kelly’s Offense

When Chip Kelly traded for Sam Bradford, the knock from everyone outside the Philadelphia Eagles organization was that the former St. Louis Rams first round pick wasn’t durable enough, having been injured his past two seasons.

Sunday, those fears were fully realized as Bradford went down with a shoulder injury against the Miami Dolphins. On top of that, his replacement, Mark Sanchez, threw a red zone interception that ultimately cost the Eagles the game 20-19.

As reported by ESPN, Sam Bradford suffered both a concussion and shoulder injury to his non-throwing arm when he was sacked by Miami linebacker Chris McCain. Sam was able to walk off the field as Sanchez hurriedly warmed up. The Eagles announced early in the fourth quarter that X-rays were negative but that Bradford was not returning to the game.

Philadelphia Eagles Lose To Miami Dolphins
Photo by Alex Goodlett

And according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, Bradford is suffering from a Grade Two AC Joint Sprain, or as he likes to put it, a “fancy” term for a separated shoulder.

The diagnosis isn’t as serious as initially thought, but regardless, it means that Bradford will miss time and the Eagles have to rely on Mark Sanchez to lead them in the second half of the season. As reported by Inquisitr, there were enough rumors circulating that the Eagles were seriously considering replacing Bradford with Sanchez anyway because of Sam’s inability to move the offense or look comfortable.

Bleeding Green Nation gave a statistical run down of Bradford’s stats for the season, and up until a few weeks ago, it certainly wasn’t pretty.

“Among qualified starters, he’s 29th in quarterback rating, 32nd in ESPN’s Total Quarterback Rating, and 30th in adjusted net yards per pass attempt (which dings him for the interceptions but gives him some credit for avoiding sacks). Bradford’s statistical output isn’t just worse than Mark Sanchez achieved last year in the same offense — he’s perilously close to falling below Sanchez’s career numbers in these categories. This is not league-average productivity if you just assume away a couple of drops.”

Of course, after today’s performance by Sanchez, Eagles fans might be reconsidering. The Eagles had a 16-13 lead when Bradford got injured but ultimately lost the game by blowing several opportunities and suffering from costly turnovers. Sanchez moved the ball down the field, finishing 14 of 23 passing for 156 yards. But he also threw a costly red zone interception that effectively ended the game for the Eagles.

With under five minutes to play Sanchez scrambled while under heavy pressure from the Dolphins linemen. And in typical Mark Sanchez fashion, the former first round pick of the N.Y. Jets threw a costly interception that sailed over the head of his intended target Miles Austin and into the hands of a Dolphins defender. During the play Sanchez was rolling to his left and saw Austin sprinting just beyond the goal line.

Sam Bradford Mark Sanchez Philadelphia Eagles
Photo by Mitchell Leff / Getty Images

According to Penn Live, Sanchez elaborated on the miscue in the post game press conference.

“It was just a miscommunication between me and Miles. I was trying to anticipate where he was going, and it didn’t pan out very well.”

But unfortunately, miscommunications like those have plagued Sanchez for years. His most famous one was the legendary “butt fumble” that occurred on Thanksgiving night in 2012 when Sanchez, then a member of the Jets, landed face first into the backside of his lineman Brandon Moore. The force of the impact caused the ball to spill out of Sanchez’s hands. What made the play so baffling was that Sanchez was untouched by either his own team or the opponent. It’s also the reason the play has found its way into NFL lore.

Still, Eagles fans will have to live with Mark Sanchez over Sam Bradford for at least a game thanks to Bradford’s injury.

[Photo by Rich Schultz / Getty Images]

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