Philadelphia Eagles' running back LeSean McCoy is progressing in his recovery from a concussion, but how close or far off McCoy might be to returning this season remains unknown.
According to Zach Bowman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, McCoy has entered "Phase 3" of the concussion recovery protocol.
While the news is progress since last week, when McCoy remained stuck in the first phase, he's still far from being cleared to play again. Michael Vick, who was concussed almost a month ago, hasn't been able to clear the final concussion hurdle for roughly two weeks.
Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe helped shed light on the processes the Eagles use in treating concussions.
According to trainer Rick Burkholder, the Eagles have four components to their program: the baseline cognitive test, a rehab program, the independent neurologist and the team physician.
McCoy has passed the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing, or ImPACT test. As recently as last Thursday, McCoy had not passed the baseline test.
According to Berman's follow-up article, Burkholder said last week that McCoy was still suffering concussion symptoms, including fatigue.
More than likely, McCoy is struggling to finish up the rehab portion of the program, which includes working the player through physical activity. If there are no symptoms following each activity, trainers increase the workload until he's finished the program.
From there, McCoy must pass checkups with both the team physician and an independent neurologist.
As of now, those appointments might not come until next week.
Winding down a lost season, Philadelphia really has no need to rush their 24-year-old running back to return for the team's final four games.
The emergence of rookie running back Bryce Brown has also made McCoy's return somewhat unnecessary. Over two starts against the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys, Brown has 347 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
According to Reuben Frank of Comcast Sports in Philadelphia, Brown's two starts with 160 or more rushing yards equal the amount McCoy and former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook had combined in their careers.
Even if McCoy was able to return over the season's final month, chances are he would be splitting carries with Brown. Despite a small fumbling issue, the rookie has been too dynamic for the Eagles not to continue giving him opportunities.
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