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Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Hard to imagine Westbrook playing Sunday

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

The Beast bureau in Philly has been monitoring the Brian Westbrook situation pretty closely the past couple days. As Les Bowen reports, Westbrook showed up for his weekly radio appearance last night and provided a few details.

He said the injury, which occurred on the first play of the second quarter, is "closer to being a high ankle sprain than anything else."

As you might expect, Eagles coach Andy Reid wasn't exactly tipping his hand on Westbrook's status Monday, saying it was "literally a day-to-day situation, and I'm sure it'll be a race to get him ready for Sunday."

But listening to Westbrook describe the injury doesn't offer a lot of hope for that he'll be ready for the Bears.

"I tried to jump over [Tra Thomas'] legs. My left foot came down on one of his legs, and my right foot got caught in the turf... it was painful, very painful."

Reid might continue to call Westbrook a game-time situation all week, but it's highly unlikely that he'll play him. Correll Buckhalter and Lorenzo Booker will receive the bulk of the playing time in Westbrook's absence. It's a great opportunity for Buckhalter, who knows a thing or three about dealing with injuries. I had a chance to sit down and visit with Buckhalter last month about how he views his career. Now in his eighth season, he's missed three entire seasons due to injury. His best year came in 2003, when he rushed for 542 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught 10 passes for 133 yards and had a touchdown.

The Eagles drafted Westbrook a year after Buckhalter. It looked like the two players would be a lethal combination, but Buckhalter simply couldn't stay on the field.

"I still think I could be a feature back in this league," Buckhalter told me. "Even now, I still have the ability to be an every-down guy. It just hasn't worked out that way. This team still seems to value what I can give them, though, and that's something I appreciate."

It's remarkable that Buckhalter has been able to retain a lot of his speed despite the knee surgeries. It would've been interesting to see how his career had turned out without the knee surgeries. In 2003, Westbrook rushed for 613 yards, and Buckhalter had 542.

But for at least a week or two, Buckhalter will be the feature back again. It wouldn't surprise me if he puts up big numbers.