Brian Westbrook and Michael Corleone have a lot in common.
Once he thinks he's free, he gets pulled back in.
Westbrook began last Sunday's game with questions about his bum ankle, but he had enough right answers to be cleared to play.
Just six offensive plays later, however, Westbrook found himself nursing a completely different injury. Head coach Andy Reid called Westbrook a "warrior" for finishing the game despite suffering from two fractured ribs.
That just means Westbrook's weekly routine of treatment and rehab will remain the same.
"(It's) similar to the last few weeks here, just trying to get healthy enough to play, get to the point where the pain is not as strong and try to get out there on the field," said Westbrook, who did not practice Wednesday. "(I'm) sore. It's tough to get sleep. When you have broken ribs, you sneeze, you turn, you make a sharp move, a sudden move, it's sore."
In 2004, Westbrook suffered a cracked rib against Cleveland and missed the following week's game against Baltimore. His return the following week didn't go very well as Westbrook had six carries for 17 yards and three receptions for four yards in a 27-3 loss.
On Wednesday, Westbrook admitted he was frustrated by the chain of injuries that have plagued him in 2008.
"It's been very frustrating, but I'm not a negative guy," Westbrook said. "I'm going to stay upbeat; I'm going to try to stay positive and try to get things done. I know how I got to the point that I'm at now and that's through hard work, discipline and trying to stay positive.
"It's definitely frustrating. You try to go out there and be as healthy as possible and produce for your team. And then when you're out there, you keep getting injured, you keep getting nicked up, its tough to handle that type of thing. I had the support of the training staff, coaches, family, friends, things like that and I'm going to do everything I can to get back out there and remain positive until I do."
WR CURTIS WANTS TO PLAY
If wide receiver Kevin Curtis has his way, he will play this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately, that decision is out of his hands.
"It's not my decision. I have to go out and prove that (I can) go full on it and be able to last a game," said Curtis, who participated fully in Wednesday's practice.
Head coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that Curtis will get a little more work this week than the previous two weeks. Curtis has worked on a limited basis in scout team duty since his sports hernia surgery in late August. The big hurdle for Curtis is being able to run at full speed. He said that during practice he's been running at about 85 percent.
"I tested it a little bit pretty good last week, but this week as I progress I'm doing more and more and I'm going to cut it loose," Curtis said.
Last season, Curtis had a breakout season, hauling in 77 catches for 1,110 yards and eight total touchdowns.
ABIAMIRI MOVING INSIDE?
With Dan Klecko taking over as the first-team fullback, there is an open spot in the defensive tackle rotation. The Eagles will hope to fill that void in the nickel situations with Victor Abiamiri, who had full participation in Wednesday's practice. Abiamiri dislocated his wrist in training camp and just returned to the practice field in a limited role last week.
"It means a lot for me to get back on the field and help this team in any way. In different situations, they are trying to get me on the field any way they can. So, moving inside is something that's a possibility. I'm still playing end, but in certain situations I'm bumping inside to tackle like Darren (Howard) does," Abiamiri said.
The Eagles could potentially utilize four defense ends in their nickel package with Abiamiri and Howard inside and Juqua Parker and Trent Cole on the outside. Abiamiri was expected to rotate in with Parker on first and second downs this season before suffering the injury. As a rookie in 2007, the second-round pick had seven tackles and two quarterback hurries. The 6-4, 267-pound Abiamiri has been chomping at the bit to get back on the field and help the Eagles win.
"It's definitely been tough," Abiamiri said. "It's been tough to have to wait and rehab and stuff like that. It's exciting to be back out there. I'm not all the way there yet, but hopefully I can get a little bit better and get out there and improve."
Defensive end Juqua Parker, who has collected 3.5 sacks in the last three games, sat out Wednesday's practice with a knee injury. Right guard Shawn Andrews and backup safety J.R. Reed (hamstring/ankle) also did not practice. Receiver Reggie Brown practiced on a limited basis.
Including Curtis, seven injured players participated fully in the workout, including quarterback Donovan McNabb (chest), tight end L.J. Smith (back), fullback Dan Klecko (hand), defensive ends Victor Abiamiri (wrist) and Darren Howard (abdomen) and backup safety/kick returner Quintin Demps (knee).