Skip to main content
Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles News

RB Brian Westbrook

On how he feels physically: "I feel pretty good. Now I am just working with the team to get in shape, continue to make sure I don't have any reoccurrence with the headaches, things like that. Relatively speaking I feel pretty good."

On whether he thinks he will play before the end of the season: "Yeah, that's my hope—to get back out there and play. I think all of the signs right now are aiming towards being able to play before the end of the season."

On when he thinks he will play again: "I'm not sure right now. It's still up to the doctors and how things go out there at practice and things like that. I can't really tell right now."

On saying he was "scared" in an interview last night and whether that fear ever made him consider retiring: "I think when I said that I don't think I got my point across the way I wanted to. I'm more concerned about how things will happen for me in the future. How having concussions now will affect me 20, 30 years from now. I don't think I'm scared to play the game of football. I'm not scared to play the game of football, but I'm concerned that things that are happening now inside the game of football—concussions, things like that, head injuries can really affect my life as far down the road as 30, 40, 50-years-old. That really concerns me."

On whether his concerns about his health down the road ever made him consider retiring:"No, I think the concern makes you go find doctors and try and understand better what the problem is and how can you really go back out there and play in a way that the same things won't continue to happen. And I did find those answers going up to Pittsburgh talking to those guys and they basically said once you're back to 100% healthy then you don't really have a risk of getting a concussion just the same way that it happened before. You basically have the same risk as you would if you never had had a concussion. Those are the answers that I wanted to hear, that I needed to hear; and those are the things that really concerned me."

On whether he considered speaking with doctors not affiliated with the NFL:"Yeah, I'm still talking to different doctors and my agent is in the process of talking with other doctors as well just to try to get a different perspective. Every doctor sees things a little bit different, so just to get a different perspective on the whole deal and see what they have to say."

On whether any of those doctors have examined him: "No."

On whether any of those doctors will examine him: "I'm not sure yet. We'll see what they say."

On why he would come back given the risk: "You want to play the game. It's tough because it's weird, you see situations with boxers where they always want to fight the next fight and you ask them why they want to come back. I think it's because of the love of the game. You still think you can play. In my situation, I still think I can play, still think I can produce and really what I've learned from the doctors is that I wouldn't have a high risk of getting a concussion if I come back after healing completely. That's the number one thing; you have to heal completely before you come back. I want to play football. That's what I love to do. That's what I've been doing for a long time, and that's what I want to do."

On whether he thinks he wasn't healed completely after his first concussion: "Yeah, that's what the doctor said. He said that although some of the symptoms were gone I was not healed completely. Me and (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder), the trainers, coaching staff and stuff, we did every test we could, but until you go out there and get hit you're not so sure if you're healed completely. It's not like an ankle (where) you can feel it every day, or a knee or something like that. Concussions are a different thing for me and it just wasn't healed completely."

On when he is aiming to come back and whether he wants to take some hits in practice before he plays in a game: "We don't hit at practice at this point in the season, but I think my major thing now is to continue to try and progress and get better every single day and see how things go from there."

On the controversy surrounding Steelers WR Hines Ward's comments about concussions and whether he has felt any pressure to return to playing: "Hines Ward, he doesn't pay my checks or pay my bills. I don't worry about what he has to say on the issue at all. I don't have any pressure on me. The coaches haven't put any pressure on me. I think the only pressure I have is me wanting to go out there and play the game. I've talked to many doctors, I've talked with my parents and everybody else, and they want me to be completely healthy before I go back out there and I want to do the same thing."

On whether the team going 5-1 in his absence has given him a sense of urgency to get back on the field: "No, I don't have that. I have a sense of urgency because I want to play. The team is playing very well. (RB) LeSean McCoy is playing great. (FB) Leonard Weaver has been playing great, (QB) Donovan (McNabb), you can go down the line of guys that are doing a great job here while I've been gone. I want to come back because I think I can help this team play and win some football games. Of course our final goal is to win a Super Bowl and I definitely want to be a part of that."

On whether the NFL or any former players have contacted him regarding concussions and what they have said: "I've talked to some former players and I've talked to some people in the League office as well just about the situation. I think really all of them have said the same thing, be smart about what you do. Certain things are not worth risking if you're not completely healthy, and one of those things is your mental health in the future. You don't want to go back out there and put your mental health at risk. I really heeded their advice and listened to it and consulted with the doctors and we've come up with a nice game plan."

On whether anyone has urged him not to play: "No."

On his family's concerns: "Of course they're disappointed. They're concerned the same way that I am concerned about what the future holds for people who have had concussions and that continue to have them. They're feelings are probably the same as mine, concern."

On whether his family has asked him not to play: "No, nobody has said that."

On whether he has considered using a helmet tailored to combat concussions: "We looked into different helmets. I talked with our equipment guy, John Hatfield, about that. Just to see what the best helmet is post concussion, and see how different a helmet can really impact that. We've discussed that. We've looked into it as well."

On whether he has a set number of concussions after which he won't play anymore: "No, I haven't thought like that."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.