McNabb Pads Ribs; Gaither on Trot

Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said he will wear protection for his cracked rib during Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.

McNabb broke the rib in the season opener against Carolina and has missed the last two games.

He said he still feels twinges "laughing, coughing, sleeping on your side," but expects to be fully healed 6-8 weeks after injury.

McNabb was asked about Rush Limbaugh's interest in purchasing the St. Louis Rams. Limbaugh famously criticized McNabb during Limbaugh's ill-fated stint on ESPN in 2003. McNabb said he did not care. "I'm not going to St. Louis anytime soon," he said.

McNabb also said he thought the play he was injured on should have been a penalty against Carolina nose tackle nose tackle Damione Lewis, who dived onto McNabb after the quarterback hit the end zone turf. McNabb, hit by corner Richard Marshall at the goalline, spun off that collision and scored, only to get drilled rolling on the ground.

"He did (come in late), but there's nothing you can do about it at this point," McNabb said. "Maybe I should have jumped up like Tom Brady did (last Sunday vs. the Ravens) and asked for the flag. It's over with. That was weeks ago ... I won't be the last it happens to."

McNabb praised the play of backup Kevin Kolb in his absence, and said he will not begrudge Michael Vick's snaps. He said the Wildcat.has progressed far beyond where it was in the third preseason game, when McNabb famously gestured to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg that it was time to cut short the experiment.

In other news:

* Left guard Todd Herremans is out of the boot protecting his surgically repaired food and running in a pool. He remains on target to return Oct. 26 against Washington. Herremans said he is "very encouraged."

* Coach Andy Reid said the main factor in the re-signing of Jeremiah Trotter was the status of his knee. Trotter, who has had knee issues since college, was unable to straighten his leg two years ago, Reid said, which weakened his quad and glute muscles and dramatically affected his mobility. Reid said Trotter's knee, cleaned out early in 2008, did not swell at all through last week's extensive workouts.  

* Linebacker Omar Gaither was asked for his feelings on the Trotter signing, since his job is presumably most in peril.

"There's not a guy in the league I respect more, so that makes it easier," Gaither said. He said he sees it as "another one of those things .... I just keep rolling on."

He said considering Trotter taught him the defense, it is weird that Trot is now seeking advice from him on the new wrinkles.