Pro football

Kelly, Eagles set for Bears

2013-12-21T18:00:00Z 2014-06-28T17:24:13Z Kelly, Eagles set for BearsMike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com
December 21, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

Dennis Kelly knows his number can be called at any moment.

The second-year Eagles right tackle has not seen action this season, but he is ready. He also knows at 6-foot-8, and 321 pounds, he sort of stands out.

"You have to follow the game, be aware of every situation, down and distance because you may be put in on the next play," Kelly said. "You watch the game, but you are always thinking ahead. Someone gets hurt or the coaches want you in, you have to be ready."

Kelly, the Eagles' 2012 fifth-round draft pick, hurt his back in training camp and was on the inactive list for two games this season. The Chicago Heights native plus Marian Catholic and Purdue star started 10 games last season and played in 13.

The Eagles took right tackle Lane Johnson of Oklahoma in the first round and Kelly is second on the team's depth chart.

The Eagles (8-6) host the Bears (8-6), the team Kelly rooted for as a  kid, tonight at Lincoln Financial Field.

Another Marian grad, Rodney Harrison, is on the NBC Sunday Night Football crew.

"Sunday night, NBC and the Bears," Kelly said. "Two first-place teams who can score. We have to be ready after last week."

The Eagles were stunned 48-30 by the Vikings.

"We thought we were prepared, we had a good week of practice, but Minnesota came out and played a great game," Kelly said. "(Eagles coach) Chip (Kelly) said it is a one-game season. Anything that is going to happen to us in is our own hands.

"We have to control our own destiny."

Philadelphia is 8-6 and in first place in the NFC East. It leads the  Cowboys (7-7) by one game. The Cowboys play at Washington earlier today.

The Bears (8-6) lead the NFC North with Green Bay (7-6-1) and Detroit (7-7), both playing earlier in the day. Both have high-scoring offenses as the Bears have scored an NFC-best 406 points and are second to Denver's 535. Philadelphia has scored 364.

Kelly played both sides of the line and guard and tackle. He said that has helped him become a better player.

"You only dress 46 for a game and the more versatile you are, the better your chances are of playing," Kelly said. "You have to be prepared, know your playbook, be ready to go in practice.

"Every day in practice we run our plays and then you see it all come together on Sunday when you see things work in a game."

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