Aug 8, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs with the ball during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles Should Shut Down LeSean McCoy

Championships are not won in the preseason, but they can be lost. That’s something Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly should keep in mind in the midst of reports that star running back LeSean McCoy is dealing with a painful turf toe injury.

Reports Monday indicated that McCoy is dealing with said injury and the Eagles went so far as to order X-rays and an MRI. Apparently, they came back negative and McCoy, who according to a CSN Philly report said the toe was “really, really hurting pretty bad,” practiced Monday.

That’s fine. Let McCoy practice. Manage his repetitions and his exposure to contact. Give him a chance to work with the offense.

But LeSean McCoy should not play another snap in the preseason.

These games are meaningless for players like McCoy. Sure, they get some snaps and get some hits and see some competition, but the most important thing for a player like McCoy is to not be injured. Other guys need to win roster spots. Newcomers need to show they grasp the playbook.

McCoy just needs to be healthy for Week 1 against Jacksonville.

A “really, really hurting pretty bad” toe in August isn’t a big deal, but such injuries that linger can grow worse, limiting an athlete as the season progresses, leading to other injuries, decreasing his productivity.

Eagles fans need to remember no further than 2005 for such evidence. Quarterback Donovan McNabb was diagnosed with a sports hernia, tried to play through it and failed. The Terrell Owens fiasco didn’t help matters at all, but the real thing that torpedoed the Eagles’ season was McNabb’s injury. His movement limited, he wasn’t as effective throwing the football and didn’t even try to run, taking a piece of what made him such a threatening talent out of the equation. By the time the injury worsened to the point he could no longer play, it was too late for the Eagles to recover.

This can’t happen with McCoy. Without a player like DeSean Jackson stretching the field, defenses will focus more and more attention on McCoy until guys like Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews give them reasons to do otherwise. McCoy is talented enough to deal with that and remain productive, but not if he’s less than 100 percent.

Championships aren’t won in the preseason, but they can be lost. Put Shady in bubble wrap until Week 1 and then let the pursuit of a championship begin

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