Hot Topic and Player Notes

Injured quarterback Donovan McNabb practiced Thursday and said he expects to play Sunday in the Eagles' home opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

McNabb suffered a bruised chest in Monday night's 14-10 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome. Tests showed no structural damage to his sternum, but he was in a lot of pain Tuesday and Wednesday and was kept out of practice on Wednesday. He was listed as questionable on the Eagles' Wednesday injury report. Still is.

"If you ask me, there's no doubt about it. I'll be out there (Sunday)," McNabb said Thursday after practice. "Physically, it feels OK. It's still sore."

The Eagles medical staff wants to see how McNabb feels Friday after practicing Thursday.

"I wanted to get on it and just kind of work on timing and see everything that you can possibly see to prepare yourself for the game. We'll see how it kind of reacts to everything tomorrow."

McNabb suffered the injury early in the game Monday night when the Falcons' Chad Lavalais hit him in the chest with his helmet. McNabb stayed in the game, but didn't move around much.

If he plays Sunday, he'll be going up against a 49ers defense that notched seven sacks in a win over the St. Louis Rams last week.


--QB Donovan McNabb practiced Thursday and said he expects to play Sunday against the 49ers. He's nursing a bruised chest that kept him out of practice Wednesday.

--FS Brian Dawkins practiced again Thursday and doesn't seem to be having much difficulty running on his sprained ankle. He expects to play against the 49ers.

--RB Ryan Moats, the Eagles' third-round draft pick, wasn't activated for Monday night's game against the Falcons because he still hasn't learned the offense well enough to suit coach Andy Reid. He likely won't be activated this week, either.

--RB Lamar Gordon, who had just one carry against the Falcons Monday night, is expected to get a heavier workload this week against San Francisco as the Eagles strive for a better run-pass balance.

--DT Mike Patterson played exceptionally well in his pro debut last week and likely will see his snaps increase this week.

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