Westbrook practices

    Post-practice update: Brian Westbrook (ribs), Reggie Brown (groin), Kevin Curtis (sports hernia surgery) and all the injured Eagles except Shawn Andrews (back) took part in Monday's brief practice. All the returnees expect to play this weekend against Atlanta. It will be Curtis's first action of the season; he underwent sports hernia surgery Aug. 21. He said he expects to be full-strength.

     Westbrook, who had just come back from an ankle injury when he hurt his ribs, said there was "no question" that the bye week made a big difference for him. "I feel confident out there ... I feel like I'm on track, I feel like I'm going in the right direction."

     The bye week is officially over as the Eagles start looking ahead to Sunday's visit from Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. (Here's a link to Ted Silary's piece on Ryan's family in today's Daily News.)

    Your Eagletarian spent two-thirds of the week with the Phillies, helping chronicle their NLCS victory over the Dodgers in LA. This was most pleasant, up until that moment yesterday when Frau Eagletarian, who pays scant attention to such things, asked, "When's the bye week again?"

     "Uh, honey, this was it."

      Long pause.

      "You mean you spent the bye week in (censored) California with the (censored) Phillies instead of getting anything Frau Eagletarian brandishes rolling pindone around this (censored) house????!!!"

       Given the presence of many sharp objects in the Eagletarian kitchen, I thought it best to seem puzzled by this turn of events, acting as if the squandering of the bye week had somehow happened without my willing participation, and most definitely was not the result of any planning on my part (though some sports media colleagues might recall unwise boasts to the contrary that may or may not have been issued during late-night excursions to drinking and eating establishments in the Pasdena area last week).

     This narrowly ensured my survival to chronicle the resumption of the season.

    So what have we missed? Well, you might have noticed, the Cowboys juggernaut continues to crumble. Getting blown out by the Rams is a sign of trouble, whether your quarterback is Brad Johnson or Lyndon Johnson. Not that Eagles fans would revel in such a thing, of course, but we just happen to have a link for you from a Dallas Morning News column advocating the firing of head coach Wade Phillips.

    You also might have noticed that former Eagles second-round draft bust Matt McCoy was cut by Tampa Bay over the weekend after a late-Friday-night DUI arrest. Always a bad idea for a fringe player to cause problems. Never got what the Eagles saw in McCoy when they drafted him -- undersized linebacker, not real smart or instinctive, took dumb penalties on special teams.

    Another thought  or two on the Phillies and the World Series: Don't know much about the Rays, except watching the Tropicana Field games, I'm pretty sure half the baseball-savvy Tampa fans were wondering why Joe Maddon didn't run the ball more to eat up the clock, and the other half were hoping for a caution flag so they could go to the bathroom.

   Speaking of Joe Maddon, I spent the first Rays playoff series wondering how the late Sen. Barry Goldwater came to manage a baseball team.

 Joe MaddonSen. Goldwater