Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Todd Herremans will not play in Friday's preseason game against the Cleveland Browns because of a family funeral, a report from the Eagles' website confirmed Wednesday. Herremans, a staple of Philadelphia's offensive line for the last eight years, will be replaced by fifth-round pick Dennis Kelly, who will get his first professional start.
According to an Eagles spokesman, due to the funeral Herremans is excused from traveling with the team which is playing in its "all-important" third preseason contest -- a game that normally features starters playing about three quarters. Because of his veteran experience, the loss of Herremans isn't expect to be huge, especially since quarterback Michael Vick is also not playing.
As for the rookie? He's excited about the opportunity.
"I think it's going to be very valuable," said Kelly, who added that he found out he'd be starting Wednesday morning. "It's going to put me under the spotlight I guess you could say. It's going to give me an opportunity to play with the ones during a game, so hopefully I take advantage of the opportunity and show the coaches that if I'm called upon I'll be ready to play."