October 03, 2008
Marty Mornhinweg has a sore-chested quarterback and a sore-ankled franchise running back. His top 2007 wideout hasn't played this season and won't play this week. His All-Pro right guard also is out. But the Philadelphia Eagles' offensive coordinator got some good news Thursday, when Brian Westbrook seemed to be running just fine in a limited practice, even though he didn't make sharp cuts. Donovan McNabb, a limited participant on Wednesday, was able to do everything Thursday. And tight end L.J. Smith, absent with a back injury since the third quarter of the win over the Steelers week before last, practiced both days. Smith could be a more important offensive target this week than he has been since the opener, when he caught five passes (for 39 yards) and scored a touchdown.
Mornhinweg is hoping being at least a little healthier helps bring some consistency to his unit, which was the league's highest-scoring after two games (75 points) but has struggled in the last two (33 points), especially in the second half. The Birds have 75 first-half points this season, 35 in the second.
The Washington Redskins, who visit Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, have allowed just seven points in the fourth quarter this season, 38 in the second half. It might help the Eagles that Washington's defense is expected to be without defensive end Jason Taylor, who had emergency surgery to drain blood from near an ankle last week, and cornerback Shawn Springs, who suffered a calf injury while doing an excellent job on Terrell Owens in last Sunday's victory over Dallas.
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