Philadelphia Eagles News

Road To Recovery

Pro Bowl running back Brian Westbook was limited in practice for a second straight day and continues to make progress, according to head coach Andy Reid.

"He looked real good out there today," Reid said following practice. "We're throwing him in there a little bit more each day. He did a little more today than yesterday, and we'll give him a little bit more tomorrow. We're just being smart with it and adding something every day."

Westbrook sat out last week's game with an ankle strain and the team is holding out hope that its play-making, all-purpose back will be in the lineup Sunday against NFC East rival Washington, a team Westbrook has had a good amount of success against of late. In his last four games against the Redskins Westbrook has racked up 621 scrimmage yards (155.3 per game), including 397 rushing yards (99.3 per game) and 19 catches for 224 yards.

"He's moving around out there, and it's been real positive," Reid said. "He's making progress. Every day has been a good step forward."

In other injury-related news, quarterback Donovan McNabb (chest) and cornerback Asante Samuel (chest) were full-go in Thursday's practice after being limited in Wednesday's workout. Tight end L.J. Smith (back) appears on track to play Sunday as he participated fully for a second straight day. Smith's return would certainly help bolster the Eagles' red-zone offense.

Also, second-year defensive end Victor Abiamiri practiced Thursday for the first time since training camp. Abiamiri, who has been sidelined with a wrist injury he sustained during workouts at Lehigh University, was limited in practice.


Wide receiver Kevin Curtis is eager to get back on the field, but for now he remains limited to scout team duty. Curtis underwent surgery for a sports hernia back in late August and has practiced on a limited basis the last two weeks.

Curtis' desire to return is balanced by caution as he does not want to experience a setback.

"I haven't gone 100 percent and ran full speed and cut off of it yet because I can tell it's not quite ready for that," said Curtis. "It's a whole different game running out there on grass ... running on it full speed, cutting and planting. It's just I'm not quite ready to fully cut it loose."

Without Curtis in the lineup, the offense has still managed to get good production from its receivers, including second-round pick DeSean Jackson, who leads NFL rookies with 327 yards (22 catches, 14.9-yd avg.).

There's no timetable on Curtis' 2008 debut. Of course, trainers and coaches will continue to monitor his progress and determine when he's able to take reps with the first-team unit in practice. For now, he says he's taking things one day at a time.

"I'm chomping at the bit, anxious to get out there," Curtis said. "But I want to make sure I don't do anything to set myself back further. I'm just making sure I'm feeling good before I get out there in a game situation."

Known for his speed, Curtis made an immediate impact in 2007, his first year in Philadelphia. Curtis caught a career-high 77 passes for 1,110 yards last season. In the process, he became just the second Eagles' wide receiver to tally more than 1,000 yards in a single season since head coach Andy Reid took over in 1999.


Washington starting strongside linebacker Marcus Washington (hamstring) sat out Thursday's practice after being limited in Wednesday's workout.

Cornerback Shawn Springs missed practice for a second straight day. Springs missed the second half of last week's game against Dallas because of a calf injury. Redskins head coach Jim Zorn told the Washington media on Monday that the injury was not deemed to be serious.

Defensive end Jason Taylor will likely miss a second game after undergoing surgery on his calf. He has yet to practice this week. Defensive end Andre Carter missed practice for a second straight day, but his absence is not injury related, according to the team.

On offense, starting right tackle Stephon Heyer has yet to practice this week and will likely be replaced in the lineup by veteran tackle Jon Jansen. Heyer was relegated to special teams blocking duty last week against Dallas because of a shoulder injury and even in the limited role he tweaked the shoulder again. Jansen started the game in Dallas, his first start since the beginning of the 2007 season.

Also on the offensive line, starting right guard Randy Thomas (toe) was limited for a second straight day.

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