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Eagles RB McCoy will return, start Sunday

Wednesday - 12/19/2012, 8:10pm  ET

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- LeSean McCoy could watch from the sideline, continue his recovery from a concussion and return next year when the games matter to the Philadelphia Eagles.

He's not wired that way.

"I don't live like that, just taking off," McCoy said Wednesday. "I'm a competitor, and I'm going to finish the season out."

McCoy will start at running back against Washington (8-6) on Sunday in his first game back after missing four because of a severe concussion. The Eagles (4-10) are playing out the string in another disappointing season, so it would've been understandable if McCoy just sat out the last two games after a serious head injury.

But McCoy wants to play, no matter the score, situation or circumstance. He was injured in the final minutes of a blowout loss to the Redskins on Nov. 18. Still, he defended coach Andy Reid's decision to keep him in the game that late with the outcome already decided.

"Even when I got hurt, people blamed Coach for a bit," McCoy said, "but I want to be in there."

Rookie Bryce Brown filled in nicely for McCoy, running for 347 yards and four touchdowns in his first two career starts. But Brown had just 40 yards in the next two games and fumbled four times in four games.

Even still, Reid plans to rotate the two backs.

"I'm going to keep a close eye on him," Reid said of McCoy. "It won't be a normal workload like you'd see during the season when he's fresh. He's coming off an injury. I understand that, so I'll keep a close eye on him. He'll work in as a starter and then Bryce has some valuable experience that he's gained over the last few weeks so we'll get him in there."

Before he got hurt, McCoy was far short of matching his 2011 numbers. He has 750 yards rushing and two touchdowns along with 40 catches for 235 yards and three scores.

Last year, McCoy set franchise records with 17 touchdowns rushing, and 20 total scores, while earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. He also led the NFL with 102 first downs and 48 runs of 10-plus yards, while finishing as the league's fourth-leading rusher with 1,309 yards.

"He's such a dynamic player, so it's exciting to have him back because he's done so many great things here and just to have him healthy," rookie quarterback Nick Foles said. "I know he's excited to be back out there. He just adds another dimension."

Quarterback Michael Vick also will be available this week, but he'll be the No. 3 quarterback behind Foles and Trent Edwards because of his extended layoff. Vick missed five games with a concussion.

"We'll just see how things go," Reid said. "But right now, I just want to get him back in the swing and going here and make sure he's good.

"Right now, he feels great, so we just want to make sure we keep it that way."

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NOTES: Safety Nate Allen, a second-round pick in 2010, was benched. Kurt Coleman and Colt Anderson will be the safeties against the Redskins. Anderson filled in for Coleman, who missed the last two games with a chest injury. "Colt came in and we asked him to fill in at the line of scrimmage and be a physical player in there and he did a nice job with that," Reid said. "We needed that at that time and we're going to need it this week. The (Redskins) run the football and do a good job. So, we'll leave him in that position." ... TE Brent Celek is expected to play after missing a game with a concussion. Backup TE Clay Harbor was placed on injured reserve with a back injury.

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