Westbrook Feels Good, But...

Eagles' running back Brian Westbrook was somewhat eased back into the lineup Sunday against Dallas. The end result was Westbrook feeling good after the game and reporting no swelling in his bothersome knee, even though there are reports that the injury could nag him all season.

The Eagles are hopeful that running back Brian Westbrook will be able to play this week against the New Orleans Saints.

Westbrook has been bothered by soreness and swelling in his knee that kept him out of the Eagles' 31-9 win over the Green Bay Packers two weeks ago. But after sitting out practice all week, he was able to play in Sunday's important 38-24 NFC East win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Westbrook failed to notch 100 yards from scrimmage for only the second time in his last eight games. He rushed for just 33 yards on 11 carries, but did have a five-yard touchdown run. And he also caught five passes for 53 yards. His 16 touches were his second fewest of the season.

"Because it was my first game back, the coaches tried to spot me a little bit," he said. "But I feel good. My knee hasn't swollen. So we'll see."

The Eagles have said that Westbrook has a bone bruise that is causing the swelling in his knee. But coach Andy Reid admitted last week that there also might be some cartilage damage.

Asked about a Fox Sports report that he's going to need microfracture surgery on his knee after the season, Westbrook said, "The only people that know what's going on is me and the couple of doctors I've seen. Anybody else that says something that's outside that circle doesn't really know."

The Eagles rushed for just 52 yards on 18 carries against the Cowboys. But their passing game once again carried the day as Donovan McNabb notched his fourth 300-yard passing performance in five games. McNabb already has thrown for 1,602 yards, which puts him on a 5,100-yard pace. He's already thrown 11 touchdown passes and just 1 interception.

"Donovan rallies everybody," coach Andy Reid said. "Right when you think things are going downhill there, he steps it up with either a big throw or challenging the players in the huddle."

Meanwhile, CB Lito Sheppard played for the first time since Week 1 and made a big contribution to the Eagles' 38-24 win over Dallas. Sheppard had two of the Eagles' three interceptions of Drew Bledsoe, including a game-clincher at the end that he returned 102 yards for a touchdown.

Sheppard's absence was noticeable in the Eagles' secondary and his return was much anticipated. Like Westbrook, Sheppard reported no ill-effects of having played against Dallas and he should be a go for next week's game against New Orleans.

The news isn't as good for Donte Stallworth. The Eagles' number one receiver sat out Sunday's game with a hamstring strain. It remains to be seen whether he'll be able to play Sunday against his old team, the Saints. The early word is that he may miss Sunday's game and perhaps even more if the injury doesn't show substantial improvement.

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