Friday the 13th
is a horror flick.
For Winston Justice, Sunday the 30th (of September) is an even more frightening film.
The subject comes up now because Justice, the Eagles' second-year offensive tackle, is being forced to watch his least favorite film again as his team prepares for its NFC East rematch against the New York Giants on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
For Justice, Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora plays the role of Jason Voorhees in Sunday the 30th, which was the date of the last meeting between the Eagles and Giants. Umenyiora registered half of the Giants' 12 sacks in a 16-3 New York win at the Meadowlands. Justice, making his first NFL start, was the man responsible for blocking him or, in this case, not blocking him.
Justice hasn't played a single offensive down since filling in for injured veteran William Thomas that night, and he doesn't figure to get a chance at redemption on Sunday.
To his credit, Justice did not shy away from talking about his disastrous debut in the days following the game against the Giants, and he answered all questions again yesterday.
"It's been pretty hard," Justice said. "Any person that does this for a living - or anything for a living - when you have a bad day and you don't get a chance to redeem yourself, it's hard. Hopefully I'll get my chance again."
Just about everyone who works for the Eagles has defended Justice.
"The full blame isn't on our guy who was out there," quarterback Donovan McNabb said. "He's going to be a great player. I think we all could have done something to eliminate those sacks."
Justice doesn't mind taking the brunt of the blame.
"I think I played the worst of anybody on the line in that game," he said. "People have questioned the help, but left tackles in the NFL don't get help, and that's why tackles get paid how they get paid."
Justice said he has tried to learn from his miserable experience. He was watched Thomas at work.
"He knows how to position himself and how to use his body," the second-year tackle said. "I've tried to correct my mistakes and my technique. That's all you can really do. I feel like I've improved."
But until he gets another chance to play, there's no way to verify that opinion. So Justice waits, works and watches his own personal horror film.
"Yeah, it was hard to watch the tape," he said. "No, I didn't turn away. You can't do that."
(sore knee) was the only player who did not practice yesterday.
Safety Quintin Mikell and defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley fully participated in practice and are expected to play against the Giants. Mikell has missed the last two games with a sprained knee ligament and Bunkley sat out Sunday's loss to Seattle with the same injury.
Cornerback Lito Sheppard also practiced and said he would be ready to play against the Giants. Sheppard left Sunday's game against Seattle in the third quarter with a sore knee.
is expected to be signed from the Eagles' practice squad this week after the Atlanta Falcons expressed interest in signing him. McCoy, a second-year offensive tackle, spent all of last season on the 53-man roster and opened this year on the roster.
He was released and signed to the practice squad so the Eagles could create a spot for safety
in September. McCoy has never played in a game. To make room for him, the Eagles are expected to release safety
with the intent of signing him back to the practice squad. . . . Wide receiver
, and safety
(knee) sat out practice for the Giants yesterday. Wilson is the least likely to play against the Eagles.
- Bob Brookover