Eagles Notes | Westbrook strains abdominal muscle

Posted: September 24, 2007

Brian Westbrook not only left the Detroit Lions' defenders grasping at air when they tried to tackle him during his dazzling performance Sunday, but the Eagles running back also strained an abdominal muscle during one of his shifty moves.

Eagles coach Andy Reid said yesterday that Westbrook is pretty sore and that his status for this week's practice sessions and Sunday night's game against the Giants won't be known until later in the week.

"We'll know better in the next day or two," Reid said. "It [the injury] was from a move he made, kind of a freak thing, and it just popped on him. We'll see how it goes. If he can practice he'll practice; if he can't he won't."

Westbrook was thought to have suffered a rib injury, but X-rays on his ribs were negative.

Westbrook, who gained a career-high 221 total yards in the 56-21 rout of the Lions, has a history of nagging injuries. Yet, he's far from fragile because he's rarely missed games since the Eagles drafted him out of Villanova in 2002. Last week, he didn't return to practice until Friday because of a bruised right knee, then went out and averaged nearly 12 yards a touch.

"He's a tough little guy and he plays with a lot of heart, so he doesn't surprise me at all," Eagles backup running back Correll Buckhalter said yesterday.

Buckhalter was limping on a sprained left ankle but said it's nothing serious and that he'll be ready for Sunday.

Injury update

Elsewhere on the Eagles' injury front, defensive tackle William Thomas suffered a sprained knee ligament, and backup linebacker Stewart Bradley had surgery yesterday on a broken bone in his hand.

Reid said it's too soon to determine the status of safety Brian Dawkins (neck spasm), cornerback Lito Sheppard (knee) and tight end L.J. Smith (groin) for the Giants game. All three sat out the Lions game.

Line drive

Reid praised the blocking of the offensive line and the play of the defensive line for putting constant pressure on Lions quarterback Jon Kitna, who was sacked nine times. The line opened huge holes for Westbrook while Trent Cole, Brodrick Bunkley and Juqua Thomas combined for seven sacks.

Q rating

Safety Quintin Mikell had played in 69 games but hadn't started one until he filled in for Dawkins against the Lions. He made it count with a sack, a recovered fumble, and a quarterback hurry.

"What I said to myself is go out there and run the defense and don't do anything to hurt the team," Mikell said yesterday. "I think I did that pretty well."

Dynamic duo

In Sunday's 56-21 win over Detroit, Eagles running back Westbrook and receiver Kevin Curtis became just the second pair of teammates in NFL history to surpass the 200-yard mark from scrimmage, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The other time it occurred was Dec. 22, 1963, when Oakland receiver Art Powell had 247 yards receiving and Clem Daniels ran for 234 yards against Houston in the old American Football League. The NFL recognized AFL records after the leagues merged. Powell was an 11th-round draft pick of the Eagles in 1959.

Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or rparrillo@phillynews.com.

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