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Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Reid: Westbrook's a game-time decision

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

Eagles coach Andy Reid and head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder both discussed Brian Westbrook's head injury Wednesday, indicating that it would likely be a game-time decision as to whether the running back plays Sunday against Giants.

Burkholder said Westbrook is currently experiencing headaches and that he won't be cleared to exercise until those go away. The Eagles' trainer told reporters that Westbrook had brief retrograde amnesia, which is why he doesn't remember anything that happened between the time a running play was called and when he regained consciousness.

"We're not too worried about his loss of consciousness. ... It's really based on the symptoms," Burkholder said.

I've been fascinated by some of the research on brain trauma and its dramatic effect on former players. Malcolm Gladwell had a recent story in The New Yorker that will blow you away. Former NFL offensive lineman Kyle Turley talks about what happens when you come back too quickly from a head injury.

Also a pretty remarkable story in The New York Times today about how former Buccaneers president Gay Culverhouse is speaking up for former players -- even as she's dying of blood cancer and renal failure. Alan Schwarz of the Times has done some important work on this topic recently.

I get the fact that most folks are simply concerned about whether Westbrook can play Sunday, but every now and then it seems like we should discuss the risks involved.