McNabb May Not Get His Chance At Payback

During the fallout from the Patriots' videotaping incident, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb took a public stance against New England. Although he admittedly based his opinion on what might be heresay, he wanted payback. "Maybe we can get our rings back," McNabb said in reference to the Eagles loss to New England in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2004.

Updated 11/19/2007

A difficult task has gotten even more difficult for the Eagles.

They may be without their starting quarterback Sunday night when they take on the undefeated New England Patriots in Foxborough. Donovan McNabb sprained his right ankle in Sunday's 17-7 win over the Miami Dolphins, and is questionable for the Patriots game.

McNabb injured the ankle in the second quarter when Dolphins cornerback Michael Lehan rolled on his ankle. He left the game and didn't return. He was replaced by backup A.J. Feeley.

X-rays on McNabb's ankle were negative, and coach Andy Reid said after the game that it wasn't a more severe high ankle sprain. But he said it was too early to say whether McNabb will be able to play against the Patriots.

"We'll see how he does," Reid said. "Tonight (Sunday) and tomorrow (Monday) are the key days just to see the swelling and the soreness, to keep that down."

McNabb returned to the sideline in the second half, but was strictly a spectator.

"It's a sprain in which I couldn't run, couldn't drop back," the quarterback said. "For me to go out and be a sitting duck, it would've taken away from what we can do offensively. There was no reason for me to be out there."

McNabb had been struggling against the Dolphins before the injury. He completed just three of 11 passes for 34 yards and threw two interceptions.

Feeley completed 13 of 19 passes for 116 yards and threw a touchdown and interception. His four-yard pass to wide receiver Jason Avant early in the fourth quarter gave the Eagles a 17-7 lead.

Feeley was aided greatly by the running of Brian Westbrook, who rushed for a career-best 148 yards on a career-high 32 rushing attempts.

Westbrook had missed two days of practice with a sore knee earlier in the week and was listed as questionable on the Eagles' injury report. But the sore knee didn't hinder him against the Dolphins.

"He had a great day," Reid said. "It was hard to get him out of the game. He wanted to stay in. He wanted to carry the football."

McNabb missed the last six games of the '06 season after tearing his ACL. The knee has been recovering nicely this season and he was slowly but surely regaining much of his mobility. Then he hurt the ankle.

Asked if he thought he would be able to play against the Patriots, McNabb responded: "I am going to make sure I'm right to get out there and do the things I'm capable of doing. We'll see how the week goes."

Sunday's win over the Dolphins evened the Eagles' record at 5-5. Now, they've got to face the undefeated Patriots.

"At this point, it doesn't really matter who you play," McNabb said. "You just have to be ready to play. Everyone knows what they have done and what they are capable of doing. We personally don't care. We just have to make sure we eliminate the mistakes and make sure we're all on the same page."


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