Shawn Andrews hasn't played in a game in almost a year, hasn't played at tackle since college, and hasn't practiced much this preseason.
If those facts aren't enough reason for concern, the Eagles offensive lineman has the additional challenge of facing one of NFL's best defensive ends this Sunday in Carolina's Julius Peppers.
Andrews' response: What, me worry?
"I don't want to get into a hissing match - but at the same time, I'm a beast, too," he said yesterday after practice at the NovaCare Complex. "It's not a me-and-Peppers thing. It's a team deal. But, since you asked about the individual battle - I'm a beast, too. Let the beasting begin, if you will."
The Panthers use Peppers all over the place, so it's unclear how often the Pro Bowl end will match up with Andrews.
Andrews said he knows he will be a key component in an offensive line that has only practiced together for a little over a week.
"You're always under the microscope, of course," Andrews said. "If there's a mistake - 'Oh, he should have been in training camp' - I'm prepared."
Andrews missed all of camp when he tweaked his back during a conditioning run. He returned to practice on Aug. 29, ten days after he flew to California to have his back examined by a specialist. He said yesterday that he has no pain in his back.
Andrews is moving to right tackle after playing guard the previous five seasons, where he earned two Pro Bowl appearances. It's a position he hasn't played since he was a 380-pound Arkansas lineman.
"I just have to be an athlete," Andrews said. "I don't have to be technically sound. The big thing for me is just knowing what to do mentally. Once I know what to do, there's no question."
Practice squad complete
The Eagles filled the last four of the allowable eight spots on their practice squad by bringing back three of the players they had cut on Saturday. Cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu, safety Reshard Langford, and fullback Marcus Mailei, plus linebacker Jeremy Leman - who had been let go by Carolina - join wide receiver Danny Amendola, guards Paul Fanaika and Mike Gibson, and tight end Rob Myers on the practice squad.
Defensive end Bryan Smith, who was cut on Saturday, was added to the Rams' practice squad. . . . Mark Jones, a Strath Haven High product, was picked up by Carolina yesterday after Tennessee released the return specialist on Saturday. . . . The Eagles have an off day today and will resume their preparation for the season opener tomorrow.
Combating animal abuse
Eagles share with activist groups a plan for an animal-welfare campaign. A1.