Amidst a streak of three straight sluggish games, running back Brian Westbrook missed all three practices this week, head coach Andy Reid confirmed Friday.
Westbrook, who sat out of workouts with inflammation in both his knee and ankle, seems to be a game-time decision 1 PM Sunday in Baltimore, when the Eagles square off against the surprising Ravens.
Westbrook has been banged up all season, but his knee flared up after playing on the artificial turf in Seattle during Week 9. With the Eagles running most of their recent practices indoors – and therefore, on artificial turf – Westbrook has been sitting out. But the fact that he got no reps at all this week is noteworthy. Also notable is the fact that M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore has artificial turf.
"I'm doing as much as I can to keep him off the turf when we go inside. He still has some swelling in there and we just want to get that out. Going on the turf doesn't help that," Reid said. "We'll see how he does tomorrow and in the early part of Sunday and then we'll make that judgment as we get closer." Video Player : Andy Reid PC: November 21
Whatever the case, it finally seems this could be the week that Correll Buckhalter gets more carries, if not the yeoman's share. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has lamented the absence of Buckhalter as of late, and Reid admitted Friday that, regardless of Westbrook's status, Buckhalter should see more touches.
Despite making the occasional big play when he gets the ball, Buckhalter has combined for just seven touches in the last three games. But with those touches, Buckhalter has gained 76 yards – nearly 11 per touch. He gained 44 yards on one catch in Cincinnati last week.
"Correll will have an opportunity to play. We probably could have played him more last week and probably should have. That's my responsibility and he'll get a few more opportunities this week," Reid said. "He's a good football player, I think we all know that. Every time he's had an opportunity to start, he's had big days."
Reid also said that the upcoming short week before a Thanksgiving matchup with Arizona did not affect his game plan, nor the status of Westbrook, who is "going to go" if he's able.
"You have to play the game. Next week will be a little different, but this week here, you prepare yourself and get ready for the Ravens," Reid said. "You just can't take anything away from that. The Ravens aren't playing (on Thanksgiving), so we've got to make sure that we focus in as much as they're focusing in on us."