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News » Eagles - Eagles count their wounded upon return from Minnesota

Eagles - Eagles count their wounded upon return from Minnesota

Eagles - Eagles count their wounded upon return from Minnesota
JUST BECAUSE the last three Super Bowl winners all participated in the wild-card round, that doesn't mean it's such a nifty thing to have to do.

While the Giants' news conferences yesterday contained discussion of how much the bye week might have helped injured key performers - such as running back Brandon Jacobs, who got to rest that knee problem he aggravated Dec. 7 in losing to the Eagles - the Birds were limping and wincing.

They'd flown home from a stirring but bruising victory at Minnesota, arriving after midnight, with ice packs affixed and MRI exams scheduled. Eagles coach Andy Reid, while noting that these days in the NFL, the bye doesn't mean what it once meant, also spoke of reining in practice a bit again this week, to try to keep his team a little fresher.

Back when the Eagles were the NFC's top seed 4 years running, Reid used to stress the importance of getting the bye, and of playing at home in the playoffs. Now he's in a situation in which there was no bye and there can be no home game.

"Old trends showed that [the bye] mattered, and the new trends show that that doesn't matter, so who knows?" Reid said. "I think you just take each game by itself. It's important that we get ourselves back and the guys that are banged up a little bit, get their treatment. [Head athletic trainer] Rick [Burkholder] does as good a job as anybody in the National Football League of rehabbing guys and getting them ready to play. And then I'll take care of the practice part of it and schedule the way I think is best for the players to be in position, both mentally and physically, ready to go on Sunday."

Specifically, Reid said, we might see a condensed Thursday practice, as we did the past 2 weeks, with those Thursdays being Christmas and New Year's Day. Reid said the difference really isn't that profound, but any break in the routine seems to help.

"There is a big part of it that is mental," he said. "In particular, in this game here, where you're going back and playing a team for the third time, you want to make sure that you've covered all the bases in the film room with your coaches, but, at the same time, you want to make sure that physically you are ready to go."

Reid said the bruised shoulder that knocked fullback Dan Klecko out of the Minnesota game is "not quite as bad as what we anticipated . . . we'll just see how he does here over the next couple of days."

Reid mentioned that right offensive tackle Jon Runyan, whose participation is a given every week, was very sore with the knee injury he has been playing with. Obviously, it's one thing for Runyan to be able to take the field, it's another for him to be effective against an excellent defense.

"Yeah, they're going to be rested," Runyan said when asked about the Giants yesterday evening on Comcast SportsNet's "Daily News Live."

"But they haven't been in that game situation in a few weeks. The biggest thing is to go up there and try to get a jump on 'em. Get some points on the board and make 'em play catch-up real fast while they're not at their game tempo. Now, if you give 'em a quarter to catch up, that's a totally different story."

The Eagle who could probably most benefit from a little rest is running back Brian Westbrook. Reid said Westbrook's knee and ankle problems didn't worsen in the wake of the wild-card-round win at Minnesota.

"He's doing fine today," Reid said. "The knee is a little sore, but no different than it's been all year."

Reserve offensive lineman Mike McGlynn, who plays mainly on special teams, tore a hamstring against the Vikings. Reid sure wouldn't mind plugging prodigal guard Shawn Andrews into McGlynn's spot; Andrews was in California yesterday, meeting with Dr. Robert Watkins, the surgeon who operated on his back. Andrews has been rehabbing and might not be far from practicing.

Defensive lineman Victor Abiamiri was to see his doctor about the Lisfranc injury that has kept him out of the last two games, Reid said. Reid seemed to hope Abiamiri might make it back against the Giants. *

For more Eagles coverage and opinion, read the Daily News' Eagles blog, Eagletarian, at www.eagletarian.com.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 6, 2009

Lito Sheppard Name: Lito Sheppard
Position: CB
Age: 27
Experience: 7 years
College: Florida
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