Eagles Notes

Todd Herremans

is going to attempt to do something Sunday that he hasn't been able to do the last two times the Eagles played the New York Giants.

He's going to try to start the football game.

A year ago in this same week of the season, the Eagles were in a must-win game against the Giants at Lincoln Financial Field and Herremans did not start because he was being disciplined by coach

Andy Reid

.

Nick Cole

started at left guard and played the first series before being replaced by Herremans.

That dubious piece of Herremans' history repeated itself four weeks ago when Reid again disciplined his starting left guard by benching him at the start of the game. Herremans sat out the entire first quarter of the Eagles' 36-31 loss at Lincoln Financial Field.

In each case, both Reid and Herremans refused to reveal exactly what the fourth-year lineman had done to earn a seat on the bench at the start of the game. It was reported in each case that he was late to a team meeting, but there may be more to it than that.

Herremans said he's still mad at himself about the two incidents.

"Yep," he said. "There's no one else to blame but myself. Yeah, it's frustrating, but the finger points at me on that one. I didn't plan on it happening. I felt like I'm playing pretty good and I didn't want to have to miss any time, let alone doing something like that where it's not even an injury. Plus, it was a repeat offense."

Interestingly, Cole has only made two career starts and they both were because of Herremans' infractions. Cole will make his third career start Sunday at right guard against the Giants - what are the odds of a guy making three career starts, all against the same team? - because

Max Jean-Gilles

was lost for the season when he fractured his right leg in the Eagles' Thanksgiving night win over Arizona.

Offensive coordinator

Marty Mornhinweg

said he wouldn't be surprised if the Giants' defense uses Cole as a point of attack.

"There are certainly possibilities where they try to create some matchup situations," Mornhinweg said. "However, we have great confidence in Nick."

Speaking of Jean-Gilles, he underwent surgery yesterday at Jefferson Hospital to repair a broken fibula. The surgery was performed by

Dr. Steven Raikin

.

Westbrook sits out

Running back

Brian Westbrook

sat out of practice yesterday because of his knee and ankle injuries, but he is expected to play against the Giants.

Running back

Correll Buckhalter

(sprained knee ligament) also missed practice and is unlikely to play.

Mornhinweg said

Kyle Eckel

would remain in the role as the Eagles' short-yardage back after picking up a first down on a third-and-1 play against the Cardinals.

"We looked at him in practice and he looked pretty good," Mornhinweg said. "Shoot, he led the nation in rushing a couple years ago in college and then he showed well last week. He's earned the responsibility of playing a little bit."

Johnson on Gaither

Eagles defensive coordinator

Jim Johnson

talked for the first time at length about the benching of linebacker

Omar Gaither

before the Eagles' loss to Baltimore two weeks ago.

"It's always difficult," Johnson said. "I'm sure it's harder on him, but at that time, we felt it was right. I'm not looking back. It's tough on him. He's a great leader and still a good person. He might get his chance again . . . but right now we're going with Akeem."

Second-year linebacker

Akeem Jordan

will make his third straight start at weakside linebacker.

Extra points

Johnson said he did not think poor tackling was the problem in the first meeting with the Giants when New York ran 45 times for a season-high 219 yards. "It was just that we weren't real good at the point of attack," he said. "We didn't have enough people around the football." . . . The Eagles' campaign to raise money for breast cancer care and research eclipsed $1 million in this, its fifth season. The money raised from this year's campaign will assist in completing the second phase of construction at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital breast care center.

- Bob Brookover