NFL

Marsh could start for Eagles on Sunday

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The Canadian Press
11/7/2013 4:49:01 PM
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PHILADELPHIA -- Curtis Marsh was out of football a few days ago. On Sunday, he could be starting at cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Marsh, a third-round draft pick of the Eagles in 2011, was cut by the team in training camp. He was then signed by the Cincinnati Bengals and released a few weeks later.

With just four cornerbacks on the roster, and one of them, starter Bradley Fletcher, hampered by a pectoral injury he sustained in last Sunday's win over Oakland, the Eagles reached out to Marsh. They signed him Tuesday.

Fletcher has yet to practice fully this week, and if his condition does not improve, either Marsh, or Roc Carmichael could start opposite Cary Williams at corner when the Eagles travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers.

"That's one of the benefits of having a guy that you signed that you can run and compete," defensive co-ordinator Bill Davis said of Marsh. "He almost made the team, so he was very close, one of the last cuts.

"We have a lot of confidence in Curtis. He knows the system. He may very well have to go out and play a lot of snaps against Green Bay," Davis said. "We have to have someone who understands how we communicate and how the defence is structured."

Marsh, 6-foot-1, 197 pounds, played seven games as a rookie in 2011 and 15 last year. He also played in two games for the Bengals this year before being released. He has never started in 24 career games.

The 25-year-old cornerback remains confident he can help, if needed.

"It's a huge advantage for me because I know the calls," Marsh said. "I know the hand signals. I know the techniques. I know this system. There might be a few things I still need to learn, but if they give me the game plan I'll pick it up right away.

"There's no learning period, like there was in Cincinnati," he added. "When I was in Cincinnati, I had to learn a whole new playbook. It's a lot easier when you've been with a team all through training camp. Without (training camp) it's a lot more difficult."

Fletcher, a free agent addition from St. Louis, has started eight of the team's nine games this year, missing the second week of the season against San Diego with a concussion.

The fifth-year veteran shares the team lead with two interceptions and leads the team with 12 pass breakups.

"I was still limited in what I could do," Fletcher said. "I'm feeling better every day, though. I'm running better. It doesn't hurt as much. So we'll just see how it goes. We'll see how I feel Saturday and Sunday."

Fletcher's loss, if he can't play, would be even more worrisome if Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn't out with a broken collarbone.

"I hope we have him," Davis said. "But he's got an injury that just takes us day to day and we'll watch it one day at a time."

NOTES: Defensive end Cedric Thornton (knee) returned to practice yesterday and is expected to play Sunday. Quarterback Mike Vick (hamstring) was limited again and is not expected to play. Nick Foles took all the reps with the first team and Matt Barkley got the reps with the twos, according to head coach Chip Kelly.

Curtis Marsh (Photo: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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