Philadelphia Eagles Pre-Game Notes
It's not a secret that Brian Westbrook hasn't been healthy all season and a league source said he could need knee surgery once the team is done playing this season.
The source said that the running back has a therapist fly in each week to work on his bad knee. Westbrook, according to the source, has a cartilage problem and the therapist literally pushes the damaged cartilage back in to place in order for him to be able to move around better.
• Second-year TE Brent Celek is expected to
start over veteran TE L.J. Smith again.
Celek took in most of the first-team reps with the offense in practice this week. Smith, according to several team sources, is not expected to be offered a contract to re-sign.
• Because of his solid play this season, team sources believe starting OLT Tra Thomas will be offered a short-term contract to re-sign.
Thomas, who turns 35 in November, was relatively healthy this season and back and kidney problems that plagued him in the past weren't an issue.
• The knee injury that No. 3 WR Jason Avant suffered in last week's game turned out to be just a hyperextension. Avant practiced well this week and is expected to handle his usual role.
• Chris Clemons could be a big factor in today's game. Clemons has the most speed of all the Philadelphia defensive ends.
The veteran edge rusher will be important because of the ability of Arizona QB Kurt Warner to get rid of the football quickly.
Arizona Cardinals Pre-Game Notes
• Veteran DE/OLB Bertrand Berry will likely start over DE/OLB Travis LaBoy who continues to deal with a lingering ankle injury.
A league source said Berry graded out well by his coaches over both playoff games.
• During the first matchup between the two teams, No. 4 WR Jerheme Urban played more snaps than usual. Philadelphia CB Asante Samuel didn't play in that game and Arizona tried to spread out the Eagle defense.
Philadelphia's secondary is intact so don't look for a lot of snaps from Urban.
• While WR Anquan Boldin
(hamstring-questionable) has proclaimed he'll be able to play today, a league
source questions how effective he'll be. Boldin has yet to run full speed since
he suffered the injury two weeks ago.
• Team sources said negotiations could intensify next week on a new deal for QB Kurt Warner should the team lose today.
Both sides haven't talked in several weeks, but sources insist Warner will be re-signed. The team has no desire, sources said, to go with Matt Leinart as their starting quarterback next season.