Philadelphia Eagles News

Westbrook Optimistic

Once running back Brian Westbrook learned that he had suffered two fractured ribs during the opening drive of Sunday's 23-17 loss to the Washington Redskins, he began rehab with his sights set on being able to suit up this Sunday when the Eagles take on the San Francisco 49ers.

"I'm an optimistic person. I'm a guy that thinks that every injury can be overcome," Westbrook said Monday night on his radio show on 950 ESPN. "(It's) one of those things where if you're not optimistic, if you're not upbeat about it, then you'll never heal in a timely fashion. I'm optimistic about it, but at the same time I'm realistic about it as well."

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RB Brian Westbrook
Immediately after Sunday's loss, head coach Andy Reid said that Westbrook had a rib contusion. Shortly after Westbrook underwent an MRI at 6:30 Monday morning, Reid disclosed the information to the media. During his usual day-after press conference, Reid said that he believed the injury occurred on the eighth play of the game - an 11-yard pass from Donovan McNabb to L.J. Smith. However, Westbrook said that the injury took place two plays earlier when he ran the ball to the left side and was piled on after he was tackled.

"I'm sure it was a run play off the left side. I'm not sure exactly what play it was. It was a situation where you get tackled and somebody falls on top of you and a couple more guys fall on top of you. That's how you crack and break your ribs," said Westbrook who only slept an hour Sunday night because of the discomfort.

Westbrook had 39 total yards on the opening drive, which he finished off with a 9-yard touchdown run up the middle. After the score, Westbrook went to the sideline and was attended to by the training staff. He briefly went into the locker room, received a Cortisone shot and returned shortly thereafter. Despite running out to a 14-0 lead after DeSean Jackson's 68-yard punt return for a touchdown, the Eagles offense stalled. After gaining five first downs on the opening drive, the Eagles only had nine for the rest of the game. After converting three third-down opportunities on the opening drive, the Eagles were two-of-nine afterwards. Westbrook finished the game with 84 total yards on 18 touches.

Just last week, there were questions as to whether Westbrook would suit up against the Redskins. Westbrook suffered an ankle injury against the Steelers and missed the following game against Chicago. This week, Westbrook said the situation is the same as the ankle injury, "it's kind of wait and see."

"You continue to do everything you can to try and get yourself ready," Westbrook said. "You go to practice. You watch the tape. You do your film study. You understand your plays and things like that, but at the end of the day you have to try and get a feel for what it's going to feel like. Can you stand that pain? Can you play with it and be effective? Do I want to be out there at 45 percent and not wanting to take a hit and hurting this team more than help them? No. I would rather have Correll Buckhalter, a proven running back, a guy that can get the job done, take over and carry this team."

Westbrook suffered a similar injury before. In 2004, Westbrook cracked a rib against the Browns and missed the following week's game against Baltimore. Westbrook said that the pain now is not as bad as the pain from the rib injury in 2004.

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