Birds Mum On Westbrook's Injury

Brian Westbrook's sprained foot has now cost him a week of work and he's not figuring on playing Thursday night against Baltimore. Is the oft injured Westbrook going to be on the sidelines for long? The Eagles aren't saying.

Brian Westbrook has been sidelined for the last week with a sprained foot. Coach Andy Reid has been vague about the seriousness of Westbrook's injury, but Westbrook didn't play in Thursday's preseason win over Cleveland and he isn't expected to play this week against Baltimore.

If not for the fact that Westbrook has had durability issues since he entered the league in 2002, including a Lisfranc sprain of his foot last season that kept him out of the Eagles' final four games, it might not be a big deal. But considering Westbrook's importance to the Eagles' offense, well, anytime he sneezes Eagles fans hold their collective breath.

At 5' 9" and 205 pounds, Westbrook is the same size as Giants running back Tiki Barber. But while Barber has managed to stay remarkably free of injury despite one of the heaviest workloads of any back in the league, Westbrook hasn't. After last season, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie even moved to ask Westbrook to contact Barber about his training regimen and his secrets to good NFL health. Westbrook said he tried, but never was able to get in touch with Barber.

The Eagles have monitored Westbrook's touches since he came into the league, seldom giving him more than 20 per game. But after giving him a hefty new long-term contract last November, they would like to have him carry a bigger share of the workload - if he can handle it, which remains to be seen. His latest foot injury is the latest indication that maybe he can't.

On Saturday, Andy Reid would only say that Westbrook is getting better, but is still day-to-day. Still, word is that Westbrook won't practice this week and won't play on Thursday, leading to further speculation.

On a positive note, Correll Buckhalter is slated to play Thursday. It would be Buckhalter's first game action and he's looking forward to returning to the lineup against Baltimore. The Eagles are still unsure whether Todd Pinkston will return to the lineup on Thursday. Pinkston is nursing a sore achilles tendon and practiced on Saturday, but Reid is reserving judgement. "I've just got to see how Todd does here over the week," said Reid. "We pushed him pretty good [Saturday]. So, we'll see how he does."


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