Behind Enemy Lines

With their special teams struggling, the Eagles are considering making some personnel changes Sunday when they face the San Diego Chargers.

They likely will add a couple of starters to their coverage units, which were gashed by the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys in their two games before the bye. The Eagles have allowed 22.9 yards per kickoff return and 6.3 yards per punt return.

They added starting weakside linebacker Keith Adams to the coverage units against the Cowboys. Sunday, he could be joined by a couple of others, including possibly Pro Bowl middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, who played on special teams for eight games last season before he became a starter at mid-season. Three other possibilities: cornerback Sheldon Brown, tight end L.J. Smith and wide receiver Greg Lewis.

The Eagles made a move to bolster their special teams during the bye week, signing veteran linebacker Zeke Moreno and releasing Mike Labinjo.

The Eagles also are considering using running back Brian Westbrook as a punt returner. Westbrook led the NFC in punt returns two seasons ago, but was relieved of those duties last season when his role in the offense increased.

Dexter Wynn had been handling punt and kickoff returns. But he is averaging just 4.6 yards per punt return after averaging 10.7 last year, and is averaging just 18.8 yards per kickoff return.

Westbrook and cornerback Lito Sheppard both took punt return reps Wednesday, along with Wynn. Rookie running back Ryan Moats, who has been inactive for the Eagles' first five games, took kick return reps and may replace Wynn there Sunday.

Eagles coach Andy Reid said he probably won't make a decision on his return men until after Friday's practice. While he has no qualms about giving Moats an opportunity returning kickoffs, he is a little reluctant to use Westbrook or Sheppard on punt returns.

"They are taking most of the reps offensively and defensively," he said. "So that's a concern."

Westbrook hardly would be overworked if he added punt returns to his game duties. He's averaged just 16 touches per game in the first 5 games. In the Eagles' last two games, that average dropped to 12.

"I have the ability to make plays in the punt return game," Westbrook said. "I don't know how much I'm going to be used back there. That's up to the coaches. Hopefully, anytime I touch the ball I can add a spark to this team, whether it's on punt returns or running the ball or catching it."

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