PHILADELPHIA - Until Eagles center Jason Kelce got hurt this past Sunday, Dallas Reynolds' biggest problem was sharing a name with one of the team's biggest rivals.
"I hear about it from fans a lot, but sometimes the other players give me some grief about it," Reynolds said with a laugh. "The first year I was in training camp (2009), I introduced myself to one of the other linemen. He said, 'Aw, that (stinks).' Maybe I should just start using my middle name (James)."
Eagles coaches and quarterback Michael Vick don't care what he calls himself as long as he can take over for Kelce, who was placed on injured reserve this week after tearing two right knee ligaments in a 24-23 win victory over Baltimore.
Reynolds got off to an encouraging start against the Ravens. He was in the lineup during two of the Eagles' touchdown drives and supplied one of the key blocks on Vick's 1-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter. But he faces another tough test in Arizona on Sunday - a game the Eagles will play without wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who was ruled out Friday due to hip injuries (related story, D5).
"There are going to be a lot of challenges for him," Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said of Reynolds. "Those two inside men (Cardinals defensive tackles Darnell Dockett and Dan Williams) are very good. Secondly, the crowd noise (at University of Phoenix Stadium). Dallas' first responsibility is to get the football to the quarterback and then the two fellas that he's going to be blocking are excellent football players."
There may be yet another change on the offensive line Sunday.
Left tackle King Dunlap missed practice again Friday with a strained hamstring suffered against the Ravens and is a long shot to play against the Cardinals. If he can't play, Demetress Bell would make his first start since signing with the Eagles as a free agent over the summer.
Bell was expected to be the starter all along. The Eagles pursued him to replace Jason Peters, a five-time Pro Bowler who will miss at least the first six weeks of the season with a ruptured left Achilles' tendon. Dunlap was re-signed to be a backup, though coach Andy Reid promised him a shot at the starting job.
Bell was demoted after the first preseason game and struggled so much that he was deactivated for the Eagles' season opener at Cleveland behind rookie Dennis Kelly. But Bell was in uniform last Sunday and wound up playing most of the second half against the Ravens after Dunlap was injured.
"I've felt like the last two, three weeks that (Bell) has really gotten a pretty good grasp of things," Reid said. "It looks like he feels more comfortable and that's an important part of it. If he gets in again (against the Cards), I have full trust that he's going to do a great job."
If Kelce and Bell can step up, that would provide a major boost to the Eagles' offense by allowing tight end Brent Celek to be used more as a receiver than a blocker. They played well enough against the Ravens to allow Celek to have the best game of his six-year NFL career. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder caught eight passes for 157 yards.
Celek's 222 receiving yards for the season tops all NFL tight ends and ranks fifth overall in the NFL behind Carolina's Steve Smith (296), the New York Giants' Victor Cruz (279) and Hakeem Nicks (237), and St. Louis' Danny Amendola (230). Carolina and New York have played three games; all other teams have played two.
Celek also fired up the crowd by hurdling Ravens safety Ed Reed and recovering from a big hit by safety Bernard Pollard to emphatically signal a first down.
"I was never a hurdler in high school or anything," Celek said. "To be honest, I'm surprised I was able to jump over him."
The main goal for the offense this Sunday will be to take better care of the football.
Vick has thrown a league-high six interceptions and the Eagles' nine turnovers top the NFL by a wide margin. If they are to stay undefeated for at least another week, they cannot keep making those mistakes.
"We're playing just the way I expect us to play, with the exception of the turnovers," Mornhinweg said. "If we can get that fixed, I think we can be pretty good."
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