The biggest injury question mark this week for the Eagles is the status of starting cornerback Sheldon Brown and his hamstring strain. In a secondary that lost its third and fourth cornerbacks one week ago, the absence of a key player like Brown would leave the unit in the hands of inexperienced players like Dimitri Patterson, Ramzee Robinson and Jack Ikegwuonu.
Brown was limited in practice on Wednesday, but he told reporters in the locker room after practice that he is hopeful about getting on the field Sunday night against the Bears. In fact, Brown has never missed a game in his NFL career, having played in 121 straight games, second-best among active cornerbacks.
"I feel a lot better, I think there's a good chance," said Brown, who left the Chargers game in the second half and did not return. "I think we have a great training staff and they got on it right away when it happened. That was the whole idea of getting me out when they got me out. So I think there's a good chance (that I'll play)."
Brown said that the reason he's been able to push through injuries in the past without missing a game is his devotion to his teammates.
"For me, I care about the guys I play with and I think I'm an important piece to that whole puzzle," he said. "So that's why I've played through some things. Not for anybody else but for the guys who go to training camp with me and stuff like that. So I know they appreciate it, meaning the guys I play with.
"When I'm training in the off-season, I'm training my mind and the mentality is to play a 16-game season. When I come to training camp, I'm preparing for that. When you have a setback and you miss some of that time, it's kind of frustrating."
Even so, he was impressed with the performance of the men who replaced him, namely Patterson and Robinson, when he left the Chargers game.
"I think they did a great job," Brown said. "They were out there flying around and making plays and we hung in there, we battled. I was proud of them after watching the film; it's a tough situation to be in and they handled it well."
After two consecutive losses, the Eagles find themselves at 5-4, one game behind the division-leading Dallas Cowboys and locked in a four-way tie for two wild card spots in the NFC.
"We've put ourselves in a position where we can't afford any more mistakes," Brown said. "Enough is enough. We feel like this is a must-win. We look at our schedule and we feel like we have a chance to compete with the rest of the games and we're going to give it our all.
"Penalties, not executing, we've wasted all those opportunities."
The Eagles are currently the third-most penalized team in the NFL, and that's the most disappointing thing to Brown.
"If you're going to do that, then we're never going to win," he said. "It's up to each individual to know that that stuff has to be stopped, period. Get it corrected.
"We need some young guys to come of age and we do need some old guys, including myself, to take it up another level."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 6:36 p.m., November 18