Despite pain, Runyan keeps on starting for Eagles

Posted: December 16, 2008

Practice?

Practice?!

Jon Runyan's left knee hurt so badly after Wednesday's practice that he took the next three workouts off, hoping to make his 190th straight start.

After the way he played last night against the Browns, expect his workload to be similarly limited as the season's grind continues.

"He'll probably be a little tender today on that knee," coach Andy Reid said. "He's a warrior. A very mentally tough guy."

"Isn't that the way it's supposed to be done," Runyan asked afterward.

Refreshed, Runyan, 35, charged out of the tunnel like a locomotive. Minutes later, he sprinted onto the field for the first offensive play of the game, his 190th straight start, third-most among active players.

Brett Favre has 267. Derrick Brooks has 207.

It was a pass play. Runyan, a right tackle, stood up left end Corey Williams on that pass play. He led a surge on Brian Westbrook's 4-yard run. He then flattened Shaun Rogers on Donovan McNabb's rolled-out toss to Jason Avant.

At the end of the drive, he again blocked Rogers, who stunted. McNabb was untouched as he flipped a 14-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Curtis.

Runyan was fine.

More than fine.

Outstanding.

Asked of it's the worst pain he's ever played through, Runyan replied, "It's just one of those nagging things."

At the end of the second Eagles drive, he jacked up blitzing linebacker Willie McGinest and saved McNabb a sack, or worse.

By the second quarter, Williams wasn't interested in much more abuse. Runyan saw more and more of Louis Leonard - to no effect.

The Browns managed one first-half sack, but on that play Runyan stymied Williams. In fact, McNabb ran past the pair.

Williams finally beat him with an inside move midway through the third quarter, but McNabb already had unloaded a 20-yard dart.

That smelled like fatigue . . . until they ran behind Runyan on Correll Buckhalter's 27-yard burst that set up the Eagles' second offensive touchdown, early in the fourth quarter.

That was all for Runyan, but most of the rest of the Eagles' offensive starters were done, too. It was 30-3 by then.

Asked how he did it, all things considered, Runyan said, "I don't know," and he joked about how groggy his postgame treatment was making him.

It was just one more start.

And a very, very good one.

Said Runyan, "I'll take it." *

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