The more things stay the same, the more they change.
As expected, Brian Westbrook will not play tomorrow when the Eagles go on the road to face the New York Giants in another December game between the NFC East rivals laced with playoff implications. While the running back will miss his fourth straight game - and sixth of the last seven - as he attempts to return from two concussions, the Eagles overall are as healthy as they've been all season.
No other player from the team's 53-man roster is listed as out, and only wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Kevin Curtis are questionable with injuries. And for the first time this season, every available player practiced yesterday.
"That's a plus from a team standpoint," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "But again, nobody and no team is completely healthy this time of the year."
Just last week the Eagles were without wide receiver DeSean Jackson and linebacker Akeem Jordan, along with Westbrook and Curtis. But Jackson and Jordan are probable for tomorrow, and several other players with nagging bumps and bruises have avoided setbacks that have plagued so many teams down the stretch.
Reid wasn't going to proclaim his team over the hump in light of the Eagles' changing fortunes in terms of injuries. But there has been a lot to be positive about. The Eagles managed to go 3-1 in the last four games without Jordan (knee) and cornerback Joselio Hanson, who was serving a banned-substance suspension. And now both are back, as is the explosive Jackson.
"I think health is key," said cornerback Sheldon Brown, who has stayed on the field despite an injured hamstring. "The one year that we went to the Super Bowl  since I've been here, everybody was healthy. I'm pretty sure that would be with a lot of teams that do make it. That's the most important ingredient. If you're not healthy, then you have to ask some of your backups to step in and do some pretty amazing things."
Contributions from several backups are among the reasons the 8-4 Eagles have been able to survive their own run of injuries so far. For instance, rookie LeSean McCoy has helped make life bearable for the Eagles' offense in the absence of Westbrook. Even though Westbrook returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since suffering his second concussion Nov. 15, the Eagles are proceeding carefully with their star running back.
"I just have to hear from the doctors and trainers and then Brian," Reid said. "I'd be foolish if I didn't listen to him and his part of it. When he's ready to go, they will all let me know, and we'll go with it."
Westbrook wore a new helmet yesterday for the first time, one used by other NFL players who have had head injuries. Reid said it has more padding. Asked if there were any significant differences between the helmet and his old one, Westbrook said, "It's just a lot bigger."
Jackson is also trying to come back from a concussion. He suffered his injury two weeks ago against the Redskins. Barring another headache, though, Jackson will play. Curtis, who will travel, gives the team some flexibility if either Jackson or Maclin has a setback.
Maclin was held out of practice Wednesday and Thursday because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. He was wearing a protective boot Thursday and had to practice yesterday on the turf inside the Eagles' indoor practice facility, but Reid said Maclin "should be fine."
Curtis is a "bubble guy," according to Reid, and the likelihood of his playing appears slim. The receiver has missed the last 10 games and had arthroscopic knee surgery in October.
Jordan will play, Reid said, although it might not always be at his usual weak-side spot.
"He can play all three [linebacker] spots, and he really has done that this week, whether it's in our regular personnel or our other personnel," Reid said.
Those are the luxuries a team enjoys when it is at or near full strength. It all sets up well for a team seemingly hitting its stride with a quarter of the season remaining.
"I think they enjoy playing together, and they take coaching very well," Reid said. "We have to see how we do down the stretch. That kind of makes your team and tells you a little bit about the team as you go, so really you put a name on it at the end of the year."