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Don't Doubt Jason Kelce on Game Day

The Eagles veteran center banged-up his knee last week but expect him back on the field Sunday against the Jets

PHILADELPHIA - Jason Kelce will not participate in the Eagles' walkthrough practice on Wednesday but don't bet against the All-Pro center starting for the 118th consecutive time against the New York Jets on Sunday.

For once that wasn't a given as Kelce was forced to miss 31 offensive snaps against the NY Giants during a 13-7 setback with a knee injury suffered late in the first quarter.

Kelce was first taken to the blue medical tent before walking inside the locker room. When Kelce returned to the field he did get his helmet for a short time but backup center Nate Herbig remained in the game.

When the third quarter started and Herbig was still in the contest it seemed like Kelce was done for the afternoon right up until he wasn't and No. 62 made it back on the field.

"I didn't have a lot of interactions with him because I was obviously focused on the game," head coach Nick Sirianni said Wednesday. "I was getting updates from the trainer but what I saw was a guy like sprinting trying to see if he can go and continuing to do it.

"... it was just awesome. It was unbelievable. I get chills thinking about how much it means to him to be out there and fight through things that he fights through."

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The fact that Kelce was able to return was important because right tackle Jack Driscoll ultimately went down with a high-ankle sprain and Herbig was again forced to enter the lineup this time at RG.

Had Kelce not returned, Herbig would have stayed at OC and Sua Opeta would have entered at RG.

"My text message to Jason after the game was 'you're the toughest guy I know and we appreciate the heck out of you coming back in,'" Sirianni said.

The Eagles will try to manage Kelce, 34, during the week at practice but the three certainties of life remain in play: death, taxes, and Jason Kelce suiting up on Sunday.

"They should do a case study on him to see what makes him this tough," Sirianni said. "I can't say enough good things about Jason Kelce. He's so tough and our team feeds off that. I think we have a tough team and why do you have a tough team? You have a tough team because of the leadership of the main guys on your team and it starts with him."

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on both PhillyVoice.com and YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.