Winston Justice watched the Eagles historic comeback at the New Meadowlands Stadium from the sidelines. Nursing an injured knee, Justice has missed the last two games while King Dunlap has started at right tackle.
Now as the Eagles prepare for Minnesota with a division title on the line, Justice can hardly stand the thought of missing his third consecutive game. But the 6-6, 320-pound offensive tackle said Wednesday that barring any setbacks, he shouldn't have to.
"I feel that I'm at that point (where I'm ready to return)," Justice said. "I'll probably test it more today, but again I always thought I was ready. But it's the coach's call."
The coach seems to agree with Justice's assessment.
Andy Reid said Wednesday that he expects Justice to start at right tackle Sunday night against the Vikings. "Winston will be back in there," he said.
In a season with so much change along the Eagles offensive line, Justice had been a steady presence at right tackle before sustaining an MCL sprain against the Texans in Week 13. He started the team's first 12 games, and takes pride in being out on the field each and every week.
Understandably, the past two weeks have been tough both physically and mentally.
"It's been pretty hard, but it's humbling," Justice said. "It's hard watching the games on the sidelines. You really want to be out there but it makes you value it even more. Maybe it's a blessing."
With Michael Vick's style of play, he's going to take a few hits over the course of a game. Justice, and the rest of the Eagles offensive line, do all they can to limit those hits. That's easier said than done.
As Justice watched Vick take a number of big hits over the course of Sunday's game at the Meadowlands, he was amazed to see his quarterback battle through and still have enough in the tank to orchestrate one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history.
"As an offensive lineman, you don't want Mike (Vick) to get touched," Justice said. "But when he does, it hurts. For one, he's the quarterback and you're supposed to protect him. Number two, you like him as a person. For him to keep coming back like that, it shows us his character. It shows us that he has a lot of heart."
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 4:45 p.m., December 22