It should be an interesting week at running back for the Eagles.
said yesterday that
has recovered from the sprained knee ligament that kept him out of the last two games, and that he should be able to play Monday night against the Cleveland Browns.
So exactly how will this affect the Eagles' resurrected running game?
"I'm sure he'll play a lot," fellow running back
said. "I'm sure he'll get some carries, too."
Perhaps Westbrook mixed up his words and meant to say that Buckhalter would get two carries rather than "some carries, too."
What Buckhalter's return means for
also will be interesting. Eckel converted a couple of first downs in third-and-1 situations in the last two games, something that had previously been an Achilles' heel for the offense. Booker dressed for the last two games after being deactivated in the previous three.
Westbrook is hopeful that the Eagles will remain committed to the run against the Browns. The team ran 40 times for 185 yards in a rout of the Arizona Cardinals and 41 times for 144 yards in a win over the New York Giants. It was the first time since the 1994 season that the Eagles had run the ball at least 40 times in consecutive games.
Westbrook, of course, did the majority of the running, carrying a combined 55 times for 241 yards in the two games. He ran a career-high 33 times against the Giants, but said yesterday that his body did not feel any worse than usual.
"I was sore, both my ankle and my knee," Westbrook said. "But that's to be expected after any game, really. I was definitely sore."
The Eagles' star running back didn't practice yesterday. A driving rain forced the team to work out indoors on artificial turf, and Westbrook never practices when the team goes inside to the harder surface.
will play his first regular-season game at Lincoln Financial Field since being traded to the Browns for a seventh-round pick in 2006. Fraley lost the competition at center to
in training camp that year.
Asked if he thought he was given a fair shot to win the competition with Jackson, Fraley said: "No comment."
The trade has worked out well for Fraley, who has started all 35 games for the Browns since. Cleveland made the deal after
, a prized free-agent pickup, suffered a devastating knee injury during training camp in 2006.
After going 10-6 and barely missing the playoffs a year ago, the Browns have slipped to 4-9 this season.
"We just haven't put a full game together all year," Fraley said. "There have been a couple of games where we played really well and very consistent. The one game that stands out is when we played the New York Giants [a 35-14 win] . . . but other games we played for about 45 minutes, and 15 minutes or so we didn't play at all."
did not practice after suffering a concussion against the Giants. Tight end
also sat out with a bruised knee. . . . Eagles rookie receiver
failed to catch a pass Sunday for the first time this season. "The biggest thing is we won," Jackson said. "It's not my thing to get mad if I don't catch the ball. We take the win and we go with it." . . . SEPTA will add "Sports Express" subway trains to the Broad Street Line for Monday's game. The express trains will leave Fern Rock about every 10 minutes starting at 6:45 p.m., with stops at the Olney, Erie, Girard, Spring Garden, Race-Vine, City Hall and Walnut-Locust stations en route to Pattison Avenue.
- Bob Brookover