Brian Westbrook's return to the practice field presents the Eagles with one of those "good problems." A healthy Westbrook will mean that there are three healthy, productive running backs to share the ball-carrying duties down the stretch.
Of course, it wouldn't be the first time that Westbrook has been a part of a three-headed rushing attack. In 2003, Westbrook split carries all season long with Correll Buckhalter and Duce Staley, with each getting at least 96 carries. That season, Westbrook ran for 613 yards (5.2 yards per carry), Buckhalter ran for 542 yards (4.3) and Staley for 463 yards (4.8).
"You've seen us do that before," said offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg of using three running backs, when asked about incorporating Westbrook back into the game plan.
This season, the distribution hasn't been quite as dispersed as in 2003. Rookie LeSean McCoy has carried most of the load with 129 carries for 530 yards (4.1). Westbrook, in his six games this season, has rushed for 225 yards on 47 carries (4.8). Fullback Leonard Weaver has been the third rushing option, with 216 yards on only 36 carries (6.0).
Although the Eagles' are on pace to run the ball quite a bit less than they did in 2003, the template is still there for a successful rotation that wears defenses down by keeping the three versatile rushers fresh. And, according to Mornhinweg, it could get started sooner rather than later.
"First of all," he said, "Brian has a chance to be there (this week) and you've seen us do it before with players that have been off for an extended period of time, a systematic approach. There's some stages that you need to go through and he's in the practice stage right now. We'll see. We'll see if he's available this week."
Mornhinweg went on to say that when Westbrook does return, McCoy and Weaver will continue to get their fair share of the ball.
"It means a lot to me that I'll still touch the ball a little bit," said McCoy. "But then again, I still know that this is still Brian's team and he's also our leader, so I'm going to continue to follow him and take notes down, the same stuff, kind of working with him and hopefully we can all be successful."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 2:50 p.m., December 10