Eagles Notes: Replacement Linebacker

The Eagles are making plans to move on in Sunday's game without one of their starting linebackers. Plus, get a handful of other notes from Philadelphia.

With weak-side linebacker Mark Simoneau listed as doubtful for Sunday's playoff game against Minnesota with an ankle strain, Keith Adams is expected to start in his place.

Nate Wayne, the starter on the weak side before getting benched in mid-November when defensive coordinator Jim Johnson decided to move Simoneau over from the middle and insert Jeremiah Trotter, appears to have recovered from a hamstring injury that kept him out of six of the last eight games. But Johnson seems to prefer to go with Adams.

  • S Quentin Mikell, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in the Dallas game on December 19, practiced Wednesday and is expected to play Sunday against the Vikings. His return is a big boost to the Eagles' special teams.

  • RB Brian Westbrook might be used on punt returns Sunday against Minnesota. Westbrook led the NFC in punt returns last season but was relieved of those duties this season because of his increased role in the offense.

  • FS Brian Dawkins practiced Wednesday but still hasn't completely recovered from a weeklong bout with the flu. He is listed as probable.

  • LB Ike Reese on the Vikings' road win over the Packers on Sunday: "Hey, if they can go into Green Bay and win, that tells you what a tough team they are. You definitely take notice when a team goes into Lambeau in cold weather and wins a playoff game. They're definitely going to come in here feeling confident and feeling like they can win anywhere."

  • Reese criticized Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss for pretending to moon the Lambeau Field crowd after one of his two touchdown catches Sunday against the Packers. "That was totally uncalled for, totally unnecessary," Reese said. "He has too many fans, too many kids that look up to him, for him to be doing that."

  • Five of the nine Eagles who were selected to the Pro Bowl will be starters. They are quarterback Donovan McNabb, cornerback Lito Sheppard, safeties Brian Dawkins and Mike Lewis and wide receiver Terrell Owens. Owens, who is recovering from a serious ankle injury, isn't expected to play in the game. Owens still hopes he'll be able to play in the Super Bowl if the Eagles make it that far.

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