Eagles QB Sam Bradford open to idea of pope blessing his knees

PHILADELPHIA -- Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford didn't know fans started a petition for Pope Francis to bless his knees, but he wouldn't mind the divine intervention.

"I haven't seen that," Bradford said after Tuesday's practice. "I was told about it. If I got to meet the pope, I think that would be pretty cool. If he wanted to bless my knees, I'd be all for it, I guess."

The pontiff is scheduled to visit Philadelphia in late September. He is scheduled to celebrate Mass on Sept. 27, the day the Eagles play a game against the New York Jets at the Meadowlands. Ambitious Eagles fans started a Change.org petition asking for Pope Francis to bless Bradford's knees.

Bradford has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee twice, ending each of his last two seasons with the St. Louis Rams. Philadelphia traded for Bradford in March, taking the chance that he could get through the season without incident.

"This town deserves a Super Bowl," the petition says, "and a healthy Bradford is the only way we will have a parade down Broad Street! Please sign this petition and Go Eagles and Welcome to Philly, Pope Francis!!!!"

The petition, started by Pratik Patel of Audubon, Pennsylvania, had more than 3,000 online signatures by 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday.