Shawn Andrews needs a second back operation.
Rich Moran, the agent for the Eagles' two-time Pro Bowl guard, said yesterday that Robert Watkins will perform a more extensive surgery than the previous one next week out in Southern California.
"He had a discogram last week that verified it," Moran said.
A discogram is a procedure in which a needle is placed in the disc in the back. Dye is injected so it can be examined under an X-ray.
After being placed on injured reserve before the start of the season, Andrews went through an eight-week rehabilitation period under the watchful eye of Watkins before being told earlier this month that he'd have to undergo a second surgery.
Attempts to reach Watkins and Andrews last night were unsuccessful.
Moran said Watkins informed Andrews that if he wanted to continue to play football, he would need this second surgery. The agent said that Watkins would again perform surgery on Andrews' L4 and L5 (lumbar) discs in his back just as he did in October of last year when Andrews missed all but two games. This time, however, Andrews will also have surgery on the sacrum area of his lower back.
Asked about how Andrews responded to the news, Moran said "he's fine."
"He didn't want a second back surgery," the agent said. "But he wants to play football and get healthy. Shawn wants to do everything he possibly can to come back."
It's not clear how long Andrews will have to rehabilitate from the back surgery before he can think about trying to play football again.
The news of Andrews' back surgery came one day after the Eagles gave right tackle Winston Justice a four-year contract that included a $6 million signing bonus. Andrews, of course, was supposed to be the Eagles' starting right tackle this season.
Eagles coach Andy Reid was asked what Justice's deal meant for Shawn Andrews.
"This really had nothing to do with Shawn and Shawn's situation," Reid said.
"He's taking care of that and I've always said that you can't have enough good offensive linemen. This wasn't done because of Shawn or anything else. It's because this kid has come in and developed himself as a legitimate right tackle in the National Football League."
Samuel, Jordan update. Cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Akeem Jordan did not practice yesterday and cornerback Sheldon Brown, who somehow found a way to play in the Eagles' win over the Bears on Sunday despite a hamstring strain, was again a limited participant.
Jordan has missed the last two games with a hyperextended knee. Asked if he thought he would be able to play in four days, Jordan said, "Maybe, maybe. We're pushing for it."
If he can't play against the Redskins this Sunday, the Eagles will likely stick with the linebacker alignment they had at Chicago. Will Witherspoon would fill in for Jordan at weak side, Chris Gocong would stay at his regular spot at strong side, and Joe Mays and Jeremiah Trotter would split downs in the middle.
The Eagles originally said that Samuel suffered a stinger Sunday, but Reid downgraded the injury to a neck strain the following day. He was kept out of practice yesterday, however, and that has to be a cause for concern with Brown obviously still ailing.
Stacy Andrews. In one week, Stacy Andrews went from starting right guard to left out.
With left tackle Jason Peters out against the Chargers two weeks ago, a shuffled offensive line opened the door for Andrews, who hadn't started since Week 1. Apparently, the team wasn't overwhelmed with his performance and when Peters returned the following week against the Bears, Andrews didn't dress.
"I've always had to work for what I got, so why not keep doing that?" Andrews said.
The Eagles signed Andrews to a six-year, $40 million contract in the off-season even though he just had surgery to correct a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. Reid said the team never expected Andrews to be completely ready to play by the opener, but he was penciled in as the starter at right guard as early as the spring even though he played right tackle with the Bengals last season.
Nick Cole, however, has taken over as the starter and Max Jean-Gilles has replaced Andrews as the backup.
"It's a day-to-day thing," Andrews said. "My thing is to just come out here and keep working."
Michelin man. Greg Isdaner will give up his part-time job as an assistant football coach at his alma mater, Episcopal Academy, now that he signed to join the Eagles practice squad.
"I called the kids up, and said, 'No workout in the morning. I got something to do tomorrow,' " said Isdaner, a 6-foot-3, 325-pound guard.