|Safety Colt Anderson, No. 30, hopes his play on Sunday gives him plenty of reasons to jump for joy. (US Presswire)|
Safety Colt Anderson has carved out a nice NFL career as a special teams ace and he has embraced that role in his three seasons with the Eagles. But he also wants a chance to play on defense and make more of a contribution.
Now, he might get that chance.
Anderson ran with the first team at free safety on Wednesday because starter Kurt Coleman is sidelined with a bruised sternum. It's unsure yet whether Coleman will heal in time to play against Tampa Bay on Sunday, so Anderson, who has only started two games in his NFL career, could be on the field a lot against the Buccaneers.
“Getting a chance to practice with the [starters] is huge in terms of getting yourself mentally ready to step in there,” Anderson said on Wednesday. “If I get a chance to get in there it'll be a great opportunity and I'm excited about it.”
Anderson knows these opportunities don't come around very often. That's why the afternoon of Oct. 14 was such a tough one for him. The Eagles were playing the Detroit Lions and had a 10-point lead with about five minutes left to play when starting safety Nate Allen left the game with a strained hamstring.
So, Anderson got his chance to play defense -- and botched it. He was late in coverage on one long touchdown pass and then he was flagged for pass interference in the end zone, which set up the field goal that tied the game.
The Lions went on to win in overtime.
“That was a very frustrating game,'' Anderson said. “We were up and we ended up losing the game. I told my teammates ‘I hope I get another chance.' Well, I've got another chance and I'm looking forward to the challenge.”
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