With two starters ruled out and two others, including running back Brian Westbrook, listed as questionable, the Philadelphia Eagles go into their biggest game of the season with key health issues.
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The Eagles (4-2) host the New York Giants (5-2) on Sunday with first place in the NFC East at stake. But Westbrook is questionable after suffering a concussion in last Monday’s victory over Washington.,
Coach Andy Reid said Friday that wide receiver Kevin Curtis (knee), defensive end Victor Abiamiri (knee), and backup cornerback/special teams player Dimitri Patterson (hand/quadriceps) won’t play against New York. He also said free safety Victor Harris (ankle) and backup defensive end Chris Clemons (elbow) are questionable.
None of them practiced Friday.
“It’s going to be a game-day decision,” Reid said of Westbrook, who traditionally performs well against the Giants. “We’re waiting to get more tests back and see how they look. So far the tests we have done this week have looked OK. But it comes down to a matter of time.”
Westbrook has not practiced all week, but he was on the field Friday with his teammates and seemed in good spirits.
“I know he wants to play,” Reid said. “As long as he cleared, he’s OK’d, we just have to see. The experts are looking at this. We have to listen to the doctors.”
If Westbrook can’t go, rookie LeSean McCoy would make his second start. The second-round draft pick from Pitt started against Kansas City and gained 84 yards on 20 carries.
Newly signed P.J. Hill, who was on the New Orleans practice squad, might also see some time.
“He’s done a nice job,” Reid said of Hill. “There’s been a little bit of a carry-over in the terminology he had in New Orleans. I like what I’ve seen. He has a little bit of zip to him and he’s a sharp kid.”
Harris also was hurt in the win over Washington. Veteran Sean Jones replaced him.
Jones, a free agent from Cleveland, has played more strong safety than free safety and has been the team’s dime back when it goes to that package.
“I think I’ve made a pretty good adjustment from strong to free,” Jones said. “The main thing is just going out and making plays. In this defense the safety positions are similar, with just a couple of differences. Obviously, the strong safety is more in the box and the free is more of a center fielder. But we’re both asked to blitz and to cover.”
Sunday, he may be asked to start.
“He’s been rotating in there,” Reid said of Jones. “He’ll be fine.”