Friday, September 11, 2009
Runyan ready to contribute to team
By Sal Paolantonio
PHILADELPHIA -- After completing a workout with a third team in the last week, former Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Jon Runyan left the Buffalo Bills saying he felt "great" and was ready to join a team and make a contribution immediately.
"I'm ready to play," said Runyan, who had microfracture surgery on his right knee in February and was cleared by doctors three weeks ago to begin working out with NFL teams. "I'd just need a week of practice to get my timing down and I'd be ready."
Runyan has worked out for the Bills, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Eagles, but so far no contract has been offered. He suspected that teams are waiting until next week. If Runyan is on a roster on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, as a vested veteran his entire 2009 salary is guaranteed. After Sunday, a more club-friendly contract can be ironed out.
"I think everybody is trying to figure out what they have on the O-line," Runyan said.
The Eagles are in a particularly dire predicament. Starting right tackle Shawn Andrews, who was moved from left guard to take Runyan's place, has been ruled out for Sunday, complaining of persistent pain in his back -- an injury that has kept him off the field since Week 2 of last season.
The under-achieving Winston Justice has been inserted in the starting lineup for Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. The only other start for Justice came on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2007, against the New York Giants and it ended in embarrassment. Justice allowed Osi Umenyiora to sack Donovan McNabb six times. All told, the Giants had 12 sacks in that game. The Eagles lost 16-3.
Runyan said that after three workouts this week his knee was doing better than expected.
"I thought I might have some swelling with all the workouts, and all this time sitting on airplanes, but it hasn't happened," said Runyan, 35, who started 192 straight games before the Eagles released him at the end of last season. "I haven't had any swelling and no pain. So, that's a good sign."
Runyan said he hoped to hear something from one of the teams in the coming week.
Sal Paolantonio is a reporter for ESPN.