Hot Topic and Player Notes: Eagles

The Eagles will find out this week whether injured quarterback Donovan McNabb will play again this season. One specialist already has recommended that he shut it down for the season and have his sports hernia surgically repaired.

He aggravated the injury two weeks ago in the Eagles' Monday night loss to the Dallas Cowboys. He didn't play in Sunday's 27-17 loss to the New York Giants. McNabb is expected to make a decision this week after getting at least one more opinion.

There is little reason for him to come back. For starters, he wasn't playing very well anyway. And after the Eagles suffered their fourth straight loss Sunday, they are essentially out of the playoff race at 4-6.

Backup Mike McMahon played pretty well in McNabb's absence. He completed 13 of 24 passes for 217 yards in the second half against the Giants, throwing for one touchdown and running for another.

--Arbitrator Richard Bloch was expected to rule on wide receiver Terrell Owens' four-game suspension this week. Bloch's decision will have no bearing on whether Owens ever plays for the Eagles again. He won't. Even if Owens' suspension is shortened or wiped out, the team plans to deactivate him for the rest of the season.

It remains to be seen what would happen if Owens decides to make a pest of himself and show up at the Eagles' practice facility.

--The Eagles defense continues to struggle. It gave up three more touchdown passes Sunday against the Giants. That's 17 in the past eight games. In the past five years, Philadelphia has never given up more than 18 in a season.


Despite an impressive second-half performance by quarterback Mike McMahon, the Eagles lost their fourth straight game, a 27-17 decision to the New York Giants. It's only the third time since Andy Reid became coach in 1999 that the Eagles have lost four games in a row. The two other instances came in his first season.

McMahon finished 18 of 39 for 298 yards. But the Eagles defense gave up back-to-back fourth-quarter touchdowns that sealed their doom.


--CB Lito Sheppard suffered a high ankle sprain in the second half against the Giants that probably will end his season. He was replaced by nickel back Rod Hood.

--QB Donovan McNabb didn't play against the Giants and likely will have season-ending surgery on his sports hernia.

--DE Jevon Kearse missed a good portion of the second half against the Giants with a shoulder injury. He still managed to notch three sacks. He returned to the game and is expected to play Sunday against Green Bay.

--LT Tra Thomas had back spasms that kept him out of the lineup much of the second half against the Giants. He is expected to play this week.

--P Reggie Hodges' job could be in jeopardy. He had a punt blocked and had a 27.2-yard net average against the Giants.

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