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Jamar Chaney faced with grand opportunity

It’s fair to say that Stewart Bradley’s injury this past weekend was disappointing, not only to the defense, but to the linebacker himself. After working hard to fully recover from a torn ACL and making progress throughout the season, he was forced to depart the starting lineup once again because of an injury. However, it wouldn’t be right to ignore the potential of Jamar Chaney in the middle of the LB corps. Last year, Moise Fokou revealed himself as a capable starter, yet began as a late-round Draft pick who primarily played on special teams. Hasn’t that almost mirrored Chaney’s freshman campaign thus far? Against the Giants in a crucial showdown this weekend with strong playoff implications, Chaney has a grand opportunity to stand out and prove himself as an adequate starter at MLB.

There’s no question that this Sunday’s game won’t be a simple task for the Eagles and Chaney, as the Giants boast one of the league’s better running combos with Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs in the backfield, but if Chaney can contain them as part of a commendable performance in Week 15, who’s to say he won’t earn another couple of starts from the coaching staff? This weekend’s game is probably the biggest chance for Chaney to make an impact that he’ll have for the remainder of 2010, and he isn’t shying away from it.

“It’s going to be a huge test,” the Mississippi State product said, noting that the Giants “have two good running backs, [and] both of them should be getting over 1,000 yards this year, but it’s going to be a real good challenge for us to go out there and stop their run game.”

Head coach Andy Reid agrees. “It’ll be a great challenge for [Jamar],” he said. “The Giants are a great football team and they’ll test the linebackers with that run game and the way the tight end plays and the screen game. They’ll test your linebackers…[but] he preps hard and he’s one of those guys who comes in early and does all that stuff and stays late and makes sure he stays on his game.”

So, while the loss of Bradley is potentially significant to the defensive side of the ball, Chaney is being given the opportunity to emerge this Sunday. The stakes are high. The playoffs are near. And this rookie is faced with the biggest chance to enter the spotlight of his young career.

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