Eagles backup TE Clay Harbor will fill in for injured starter Brent Celek on Thursday night. (US Presswire)

Clay Harbor has accepted his role and learned to deal with the uncertainty he feels every Sunday. It’s been the same way for all three seasons he’s been with the Philadelphia Eagles. He knows he might play a lot, play a little or hardly play at all, and there’s nothing he can do to control that.

Now he finally has something he can grab onto. He will take over as the Eagles’ starting tight end for at least one game because Brent Celek has a concussion and there’s not enough time for him to recover before Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Celek was injured on the very first play of Sunday’s 23-21 victory over Tampa Bay, so Harbor ended up with the most playing time he’s ever had in the NFL and he responded with his best day. Harbor caught six passes for 52 yards -- both career highs -- and he also scored a big touchdown on an 11-yard pass from rookie quarterback Nick Foles.

“I’m a little more sore than I usually am, but it feels good, especially because we won the game,’’ Harbor said. “I’m ready to get back out there.”

Harbor acknowledged that he has “big shoes to fill,’’ but he’s certainly not lacking in confidence.

“I think I’m a good, all-around tight end,’’ he said. “I can block in the running game and I know I can have an impact in the passing game. I don’t feel there are too many linebackers who can cover me one-on-one.”

Harbor has his best training camp and preseason this year, and it appeared that the two-tight end formation was going to be a big part of the Eagles’ 2012 offense. And it was -- for a couple of weeks. But then the Eagles started to fall behind early in games and that changed.

“When you’re playing catch-up most of the game, you’re not going to be lining up with two tights very often,’’ Harbor said. “That’s just a fact, and that’s happened to us a lot this season. I knew I couldn’t control that, I knew my [lack of] playing time wasn’t because of my effort or production. It’s just the way it worked out.”

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