LeSean McCoy Playing Against Redskins Would Be Low Moment for Eagles

JJ PernaContributor IDecember 18, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 28: Running back LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks for room to run against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half in a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 28, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Falcons defeated the Eagles 30-17. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

If LeSean McCoy plays even one more down in the rest of the 2012 season, the Philadelphia Eagles organization should be ashamed of themselves.  

With news coming out Tuesday that McCoy has been cleared to play, actually getting him on the field remains to be seen.

"There's a chance he ends up playing for us this week," coach Andy Reid stated early Tuesday.

Say it ain't so, Andy.

This season so far has been dysfunctional to say the least. Should Andy Reid have taken the season off after the death of his son? That's up for debate. Then there were injuries to the offensive line, LeSean McCoy, Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and others. Overall, the team has flat out underperformed. 

With that being said, these are outcomes the organization had little control over once the season began. They fired some personnel, cut some players and opened the window for young players like Nick Foles and Bryce Brown to display their talent. Beyond that, their hands were tied.

As McCoy and Vick slowly recovered from their concussion symptoms over the past couple of weeks, the writing on the wall was clear. Sitting at 4-10 on the season, the Eagles have no benefit from bringing these guys back. They have nothing to play for, and regular season experience for young players is not always a "luxury" a team gets.

That was until Tuesday.

With this story breaking, McCoy is now being dangled in front of fans' eyes. The question is, does anyone really want him out there?

Examine all the negatives of The Eagle's franchise player suiting up at all the rest of the season. First, the risk of another concussion. Some may say, "So what? Another concussion and the offseason is around the corner anyway." Whenever dealing with injuries to the brain, there is no risk worth taking. Not only is it putting McCoy's short term career in jeopardy, but it is also risking his long term health as well.

Secondly, there is the risk of any other injury as well. When a team falls out of the playoff race, the ideal and utopian move within the organization would be to bench any stars they could. How can you argue against that? NFL players have a life span, and any move to delay that would be valuable to a team.

Obviously teams can't do this. Players don't want it, fans don't want it and it throws off the competitive balance of the league.

With that being said, the Eagles have a fee pass to bench a superstar. Nobody will blame them for holding out a player recently suffering from a concussion. It allows McCoy to not only ensure he is fully recovered, but also ensure he can't do any more bodily damage.

Finally, holding of McCoy allows backup and surprise breakout running back Bryce Brown to continue to develop. While we have seen flashes of his potential, we have also seen key fumbles and other rookie woes.

Look, I want the Eagles to win just as much as anybody. I'll never root against a team I support for something like a better drafting position. With that being said, the long and short term risk to playing LeSean McCoy is far too great.

The organization needs to gather itself and create the best foundation possible to move forward from this mess of a season. LeSean McCoy is the keystone of that foundation. More than that, they need to be an organization that puts player safety first and foremost. At the end of the day, football is just a game.

The Eagles need to make the right decision for themselves, for McCoy's career, and McCoy's life after this game.