Dawkins isn't the only Brian who could return Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Brian Westbrook, according to coach Andy Reid, is also likely to be back on the playing field when the Eagles play the Denver Broncos and former Eagle Brian Dawkins.

"Right now, it looks pretty good," Reid said.

The Eagles have been without Westbrook since he suffered a concussion early in the third quarter of the Eagles' Nov. 15 loss at San Diego.

It was Westbrook's second concussion in 20 days and it came after he had missed the previous two games after being knocked unconscious by a knee to the head from Washington linebacker London Fletcher in an Oct. 26 game.

"Just watching the last couple of weeks here out at practice, the next step, if all goes well here in the next couple of days, is to get him back in the game and see what he can do there," Reid said.

The challenge for Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is to work Westbrook seamlessly into an offense that has been running well without the two-time Pro Bowl running back. Reid said he welcomes that kind of challenge.

"My feeling when you have great players is that helps you a little bit more," Reid said. "We're not going to get worse with Brian Westbrook coming back."

In the eight games Westbrook has missed this season, the Eagles have gone 7-1 and averaged 30.9 points per game. They are 3-3 and have averaged 21.5 points per game when Westbrook has played.

Perhaps more important is that the Eagles have been a more balanced team in Westbrook's absence, relying more on the running game. Reid and Mornhinweg called at least 53 passes in three of Westbrook's six starts. In the eight games without Westbrook, they never called more than 40 pass plays.

Rookie LeSean McCoy has replaced Westbrook in the lineup, but fullback Leonard Weaver has benefited most from the star running back's absence. Weaver carried the ball 58 times for 287 yards in the eight games Westbrook has missed and just four times for 14 yards in the games he has played.

Given Westbrook's past, it's understandable why Reid will gladly welcome him back.

"I think it's good for everybody," Reid said. "That's a good football player."

Reid admitted, however, that even if Westbrook is ready to return, he will likely be eased back into the offensive game plan.

"He'll have fresh legs out there," Reid said. "Obviously, he's not going to play the whole game."

Injury report

Reid said that rookie receiver Jeremy Maclin probably will be at practice tomorrow after missing Sunday's game because of an injury to his left foot.

"We'll see how he does at practice and ease him back in," Reid said.

Quarterback Michael Vick left Sunday's win over San Francisco with a bruised thigh and Reid said he remained sore yesterday.

Safety Quintin Demps suffered an ankle sprain and was listed as day to day by the coach.

Extra points

Former Eagles running back Correll Buckhalter is also scheduled to return to the Linc with the Broncos, but he missed Denver's game Sunday against Oakland with an ankle injury. . . . An Eagles source said the team has not been asked by the Seattle Seahawks for permission to interview general manager Tom Heckert for a job with the same title. Heckert, according to an ESPN.com report, is being considered for that job.

Reid said the mood after the Eagles clinched a playoff spot Sunday was subdued. "I think the veteran players that have been around here, they've adopted that and the young guys don't know any better, so they just kind of follow the veteran players," the coach said.

Eagles Notes:

Broncos

at Eagles

Sunday

at 4:15 p.m. (CBS3)

Line: Eagles

by 7

Inside

The Eagles' blitz proved too much for the 49ers to handle. E6.

Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577 or bbrookover@phillynews.com.