Andrews' Back Flares Up

Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb drops back to pass today behind a make-shift offensive line missing starting tackles Shawn Andrews and Jason Peters. (Clem Murray / Staff Photographer)

Tweaks and pulls are common when an NFL team makes its players run "gassers" as part of the fitness testing, so most of the problems Eagles players experienced Thursday seemed to be no big deal.

But Shawn Andrews' back tightening up? The back that didn't allow Andrews to play after Week 2 last season, eventually required surgery, but had been rehabbed so well the team felt confident moving Andrews from right guard into Jon Runyan's right tackle spot?

Not a big deal yet, maybe. But it definitely has the potential to move in that direction. Andrews was clearly disappointed when he spoke with reporters following the afternoon workout he missed -- much moreso than the other new tackle Jason Peters, who also sat out with what Eagles coach Andy Reid called a "quad spasm," suffered during the testing.

"Nothing's easy in this life," Andrews said. "Nothing."

Andrews, ebullient when he checked into camp Wednesday, a year after missing the opening of camp while battling depression, said Thursday: "I have confidence in Rick (Burkholder, the head athletic trainer). I have confidence in myself ... I've been busting my asphalt all year, man, doing everything I'm supposed to do, mentally and physically. Left no stone unturned."

Asked if he thought he'd be OK in the few days, Andrews said: "We'll see."

"I want to be out here," he said. "Other than my rookie year, this is the year that I've actually looked forward to training camp. I've just put out so much hard work, getting myself together all around. It's really tough, man, but that's life ... I'm at the happiest point in my life right now. I'm at peace."

 Mr. Runyan, please pick up the white courtesy phone.

Peters, meanwhile said his problem "ain't nothing a little ice and stim (electrical stimulation) can't take care of. I'm just going to rest it a couple days, then get back to work."

The Eagles signed their prize offseason acquisition to a six-year, $60-million-plus contract extension after acquiring him from Buffalo.

Andrews, Peters, Brian Westbrook (ankle surgery), Asante Samuel (hamstring, suffered during conditioning), Trevor Laws (hamstring, suffered before reporting) and Victor Abiamiri (pec) were placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, Reid said, which has no ramifications, beyond allowing the team to keep them on that list instead of sidelining them for the season on IR should any of these problems turn out to be serious.

Defensive backs Macho Harris (slight high ankle sprain) and Byron Parker (hamstring spasm) also missed yesterday's practice.


Andy Reid upped the rhetoric a little, with first-round pick Jeremy Maclin remaining unsigned, though there were indications Thursday evening that the sides were moving closer to a resolution.

Before that, Reid said they were "not as close as we need to be." 

Reid said Maclin would be "playing catchup" when he reports. "You can't buy back that time," Reid said. "It's important that he's here."