Brian Westbrook Misses Practice, Expects to Play

Whenever Brian Westbrook shuffles off the mortal coil, hopefully many decades from now, scientists should be given his body for deep investigation. What is it that makes a man like Westbrook able to withstand so much punishment and keep coming back every week for another start in the Eagles backfield?

Westbrook re-injured his left knee in the win over the Giants and missed practice on Wednesday. He told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that he's got some extra swelling around the joint and "I'm going to spend more time running in the pool to help the muscles around the knee fire up a little bit better." There's little chance that Westbrook would let a piddling knee injury keep him from playing on Sunday, but you have to wonder if the endless battering is catching up to him

Westbrook had 20 touches for just 46 yards against the Giants. If you throw out his 71-yard touchdown on a screen, he had 60 yards on 22 touches against the Vikings the week before. Those are two good defenses, but it's impossible to watch Westbrook and not see how much the injuries are impacting him at the same time.

The Cardinals, though known for their offense, have an opportunistic defense that has made a lot of big plays down the stretch. That's why establishing a strong ground game will be key for keeping the attackers of Arizona at bay and why Westbrook's return to form is so essential. The Eagles backup Correll Buckhalter is a good back, but doesn't have Westbrooks ability to alter games and won't keep Andy Reid from throwing the ball 50 times.

Games like that rarely work out for the Eagles and would be the worst case scenario for Sunday afternoon. A healthy Westbrook is an impossibility, but they need one that can carry his end of things without breaking down.

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