Sam Bradford expects to return Sunday against the Patriots

Bradford says he expects to play vs. Pats (0:34)

The NFL Insiders crew reacts to Eagles QB Sam Bradford saying he is expecting to start for Philadelphia against the Patriots. (0:34)

PHILADELPHIA -- Sam Bradford said Wednesday that "barring any setbacks," he expects to play when the Eagles visit the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Bradford missed the Eagles' last two games after being injured in the 20-19 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Bradford left the Miami game with a concussion and a separated left shoulder. He was cleared through the NFL concussion protocol, but he was held out of last week's game in Detroit because of the shoulder.

Bradford practiced with the Eagles both Tuesday and Wednesday.

"I feel much better than I did at this point last week," Bradford said. "I'm much more comfortable out there with what I've been able to do on the field. It's starting to feel good."

Mark Sanchez started the past two games, which the Eagles lost by a combined score of 90-31.

The Eagles (4-7) are only one game behind NFC East leaders Washington and New York, both at 5-6.

"Anytime you lose, it's tough," Bradford said. "When you're hurt and you're not able to be out there fighting with your guys, it's been tough.

"The good news is we're only a game back in our division. Obviously, the season hasn't gone the way we hoped for. That being said, we're still in a position to get on a roll here and make the playoffs. Every game from here on out is important."

Bradford worked out before the Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit. He said he made a push to play in the game, but wasn't able to convince the coaching staff.

"After talking to them, we thought the smart thing was to not play," Bradford said.

"Sam is a tough guy," Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said. "He wanted to play in this game on Thursday. We worked him out, as most of you saw, right before game time with the hopes that he could play, and he couldn't.

"There's a lot of things to consider with a quarterback -- his ability to throw the ball, his ability to move, and then also his ability to protect himself in the pocket if something breaks down."