Injuries Are Mounting
By Zachary Best
When the Eagles schedule came out months ago, I went down each game and gave that game either a W or an L next to it. I saw the Da Bears game as an easy W then, but because of injuries this game is now up for grabs.
Here is the injury report for the upcoming game, and I will give you my educated guess on wether or not these guys will play or not play.
Brian Westbrook– This is the biggest blow yet. Westbrook suffered an ankle sprain when trying to avoid stepping on his own teammate in last Sunday’s win over the Stillers. Westbrook is officially listed as questionable, and has not practiced all week.
I would be shocked if Westbrook played Sunday. A gimpy Brian Westbrook is not an effective Westbrook, and it makes no sense to risk Westbrook aggregating this ankle injury.
The good news on Brian, is that the MRI he took earlier int he week showed there is no ligament damage to his ankle. Westbrook left the Stillers game on crutches, but is feeling much better already. You won’t see Westbrook this game, but expect 36 to play next week against the Foreskins.
Correll Buckhalter will obviously get the start in Westbrook’s absence, and should get the bulk of the all 8 carries.
Donovan McNabb – McNabb was slammed to the ground by Steelers defensive lineman Aaron Smith, and suffered a chest contusion(deep chest bruise) last week. McNabb did not start the third quarter, but after some tests Donovan came back and finished the game. His arm seems to be fine, but McNabb noticeably winced after making his throws.
Number 5 is listed as questionable, but expect him to play. Donovan practiced today, and Andy Reid said, “He(McNabb) felt good,” Reid said. “We’ll see how he does here, but during the practice he felt good.”
That is coach code Donovan is fine, and will play.
There was some concern that McNabb wouldn’t play, because backup Kevin Kolb took all of the snaps earlier in the week, but do not worry. Donovan just needed to rest, because the injury is a little painful, but he will be fine come Sunday.
Shawn Andrews – Bad news on the Big Kid. Andrews has not practiced all week, and his official status is listed as doubtful. Shawn is still hurting from back spasms that forced him to leave the Cowgirls game.
Andrews will not be out there this Sunday. In his place will once again be solid backup Max Jean-Gilles. Not having Andrews is a major loss, but Gilles is good enough to not kill you(he’s no Winston Justice). One thing that is really hurting now though is the depth at guard. If another guard got banged up, backup center/guard Nick Cole would probably fill in. After Cole is rookie guard Mike McGlynn.
L.J. Smith – Smith left the Stillers game with back pain, and this injury will take him out of this weeks contest. Not that it matters that much, because Smith has been near invisible the first 3 games. After the touchdown catch against the Rams, Little John has dropped passes and not been involved in the offense at all. The Eagles franchised L.J. Smith, because they think he is a big-play tight end, but so far this year he has not been able to deliver.
Brent Celek will start in Smith’s place, and Matt Schobel will likely be activated to be the 2nd tight end. They should get plenty of looks in the Bears game, because tight ends are very important in beating a cover 2.
Devin Hester – Looks like Devin Hester is going to suit up. He practiced this week, and his rib injury seems to be more of a pain issue than anything else. Expect Hester to be out there, and you can be sure Andy Reid to not kick it to him. Reid will have Sav Rocca directionally punt the ball out of bounds. David Akers will make sure his kick offs are very high and a little short, so the coverage team has plenty of time to get down field and hopefully the ball ends up in somebody other than Hester’s hands.
Kevin Curtis and Victor Abiamiri – Both are listed as doubtful, and neither will play. Curtis practiced a little bit, and appears to be ahead of schedule for his return.