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Philadelphia Eagles News

QB Donovan McNabb

On whether his chest contusion is an injury he's had before: "No, I haven't. It is a different type of injury; something which you, obviously, have to take care of and get rest and treat. We've been treating it for the last couple of days and we're going to continue to stay on top of it."

On whether he's encouraged by how the injury is progressing: "I am, but I know it's still a long way to go. You know, (I'm) just trying to do the right thing and make sure that I'm staying on top of it with our trainers. Hopefully we'll get good results."

On whether soreness is the main problem: "Soreness and tightness, yes."

On whether it hurts more when he throws or when he gets hit: "I won't be getting hit this week; at least not until maybe Sunday. It's hard to say, I haven't thrown a ball since the game. We're obviously trying to stay away from that aspect of it and just continue to treat it and eliminate that soreness that's there now; and swelling. When the time comes, get out there and get ready to roll."

On how the injury limited him in the second half vs. Pittsburgh: "I tried not to even focus on it. I took a couple shots in the second half that brought the pain back up, but I was just trying to do whatever it took to help us win. When you're in that situation, it's kind of mind over matter and just focusing on what you're doing. Obviously, after the game, it really got sore, swelled up a little bit, and we've been treating ever since."

On whether it's worse now than it was during the game: "Yeah."

On his comments that he is a fan of the Chicago Cubs and whether he likes the Chicago Bears: "No. Maybe, if I played baseball, then they wouldn't be my cubbies. I haven't been a Bears fan since '99 (1999 when he was drafted by the Eagles), and I don't expect to be a Bears fan anymore. Back during the "Super Bowl Shuffle" (in 1985), that was my team, but as of right now, no."

On whether he thinks there's a chance he might not play Sunday: "No. There's not a chance in my head. I expect to be out there."

On how tough it is to play at Soldier Field: "It all depends on what you're doing when you're out there. If you're out there executing your plays, then you can take the fans right out of it. That's kind of the mindset of any team going in. If you take the air out of the stadium by going out, executing and putting points on the board, and defensively stopping them from putting points on the board, you can take any crowd out of the game. We know we're competing against a team that's been battling the last couple of weeks. They're definitely improved from last year. We have to go out and be able to be aggressive and attack them in ways that other teams haven't. We watch film of those past couple of games and the way (other teams have) attacked them and the way they've been successful, and, hopefully, we can do the same."

On whether it's meaningful for him to play in Chicago: "Yes and no. This being my tenth year, it's not overly exciting as it was early on. This is a trip in which it's business. You're going out to, obviously, improve your record and improve your team and gain more and more confidence each week to finish the season off on the right note. I don't look at it like I'm just so excited about going back home. I look at it as just another opportunity to, hopefully, get another win in the win column and get ready for the following week."

On the injuries to the Eagles offense and what kind of challenge that presents: "It's a big challenge. It's a challenge for the guys who are hurt. It's a challenge for the guys who may have an opportunity to step in, if we're not able to go. All of us have to be on top of our game, (whether) it's knowing what they're doing on the defensive side, knowing how your body is responding to certain situations or, for those guys that have to step in, just preparing like they're the starter. There are a lot of challenges for us on the offensive side. It's challenging for us as a team because you never expect to have this many guys banged up at this particular time. You have to elevate your game to another level and make sure that you're doing your job correctly and everybody else will follow."

On what he will do this week to prepare for Sunday, if he's not practicing: "Lots of treatment, lots of film work, and while I'm out at practice, put myself in the shoes of (QB Kevin) Kolb out there knowing what I'm seeing and the plays that are called and why we're calling that play and the reason we're trying to attack the defense. And, when the time comes, maybe Friday, Saturday, do more visual training of going over the plays and what defenses we might be faced with. When Sunday comes about, be ready to roll."

On why he thinks there haven't been that many catches by tight ends so far this season: "We've been spreading the ball around outside. We've been very effective outside throwing the ball. When you go through your reads and your first read is open, you give them an opportunity to make plays. Early on, I think we called plays for (TE) L.J. (Smith)—not that we haven't called plays for our tight ends (recently)—sometimes we went elsewhere. We called maybe two or three plays last week and I threw it to (WR) Hank Baskett and so did (QB Kevin) Kolb, which could have been L.J.'s catches. It's not that we're taking him out of the offense; he's a major part of this offense. We've been very successful with him catching the ball and we expect him to be more involved in these next couple of weeks."

On whether injuries to the offense are more frustrating right now because of how well the offense has been playing: "I don't think it's more frustrating. I think, for us, it's you're anticipating getting back out there. Especially in those first couple of drives against Pittsburgh, we were moving the ball downfield, spreading the ball around and then you lose (RB Brian) Westbrook. You're constantly doing different things to compensate the loss of Westbrook. (RB Correll Buckhalter) Buck did an excellent job. (RB Lorenzo) Booker did an excellent job. Then you lose (FB) Tony (Hunt), I got banged up, L.J. goes down. I think what you saw was an offense that just continued to keep their rhythm going. For our type of offense, we're not a rah-rah, jump around type of offense. We're guys who go out and just try to do our jobs and do them effectively - and have fun while we're doing it. It's going to be important for us, obviously, this week of rehabbing right, staying in the training room, doing whatever it takes to get back out there and get back into that flow that we've had."

On what it's like to start on Sunday without practicing all week: "You're fresh. I think you have to adjust; there's an adjustment period there, obviously, from what you're used to. To going through the rigorous week of going over plays, hearing the same plays, seeing the same coverages, those types of deals, and then going to the actual game. Now it's pretty much, you're watching film, you're watching practice, and now you're playing. It's an adjustment early on, but I think after a couple plays you get back into the rhythm."

On who the impact players are on the Chicago defense: "It all starts with the big guy in the middle. It starts with (LB Brian) Urlacher. (DT) Tommie Harris plays a major part in that defense. You keep your eye on Mike Brown, their safety. They try to involve him a lot; not as much as in the previous years due to those injuries, but he's still a major part. He's a safety that comes into the box to try to stop the run and they try to keep him deep to read. Those three guys are the major players in their defense that you have to keep an eye on."

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