Reid: Andrews to IR for 'Sore Back'

Eagles Andy Reid
"He has a sore back. Its been recurring," Andy Reid said today about Shawn Andrews. "It's that simple ... He's not able to function right now." (AP Photo/Barbara Johnston)

Eagles coach Andy Reid denied Wednesday that the reason tackle Shawn Andrews was placed on injured reserve was anything but medical.

As far as he is concerned, Reid said, Andrews' back problem is why his season is over. But when asked for specifics about the injury, he kept using words like "sore," which are not indicative of a season-ending injury.

"He has a sore back. Its been recurring," Reid said during a news conference. "It's that simple ... He's not able to function right now."

Eagles right guard Stacy Andrews said he can see the amount of pain his brother is in when he gets up or sits down.

"A back is something you can't play with," said Stacy. "I've dealt with a tight back when I was out of shape and whatnot so I know how it feels. But I really don't know what amount of pain he's in."

He said he didn't know if his brother would need more surgery, but he feels they will play together eventually. Stacy signed a free agent contract with the Birds on the first day of the signing period in part for the chance to play alongside Shawn.

"I know he wants to be out playing," Stacy said. "I know he loves football."

Reid declined to be specific about the MRI exam Andrews apparently underwent Monday, which a team source has said was viewed by several doctors. Andrews was put on IR on Tuesday when the team activated quarterback Jeff Garcia.

In mid-August, Andrews visited Dr. Robert Watkins, who operated on his back last year. The Eagles have said Watkins found no structural problem. It isn't clear whether that diagnosis changed after the setback Andrews suffered last week.

"I'm not getting into what Dr. Watkins said or didn't say," Reid said.

Reid said left guard Todd Herremans (foot) remains out this week, and indeed, Herremans, still pushing his foot around on a rolling cart, said he is targeting the bye week for his return.

Quarterback Donovan McNabb (rib), linebacker Joe Mays (shoulder) and safety Quintin Demps were not scheduled to practice, Reid said.

Asked about the possibility of former Eagles offensive tackle Jon Runyan returning, Reid did not indicate that was imminent. Runyan has worked out for three teams, including the Eagles, as he attempts to recover from offseason microfracture surgery on his knee.

"I needed to see him work out," Reid siad. "Where I'm at rosterwise, I'm good right now."

The Eagles have nine offensive lineman on the 53-man roster and do not have a true backup for right tackle Winston Justice without making other moves along the line.

The coach also reiterated that Kevin Kolb is the starting quarterback if  McNabb cannot play Sunday. The Eagles added Jeff Garcia on Monday.

Reid said McNabb's rib needs to get "sticky," so it isn't moving up and down, before he plays. McNabb will not practice today but Reid said he is making progress and that it was too early to tell what his availability might be.

"I’m taking it day by day literally," he said. "That’s kind of what you do with rib injuries. You just kind of see how the thing heals up. It was fractured, so it takes a little bit of time. It was fractured all the way through."

McNabb broke a rib in the rear of his ribcage when he was tackled on a touchdown run in the thrd quarter against Carolina.

Michael Vick and Garcia will run the scout team this week. Garcia would be the emergency QB if McNabb ends up playing.

In a conference call with New Orleans reporters, Reid was asked what changes he would make in the offense if Kolb were the quarterback instead of McNabb. "We don’t change much. It’s what we do," he said. "We did it throughout training camp. We’ll stick with the system there."

He also was asked about what Kolb working with the first team will mean for his preparation. "He’ll be in charge of the offense during the practice here," Reid said. "It allows him to get 100 percent of the reps, which I would say is most different from coming in as a relief pitcher there, as a backup.


Meanwhile ...

* National Football Post is reporting that seven teams contacted the Eagles about wide receiver Hank Baskett before he was released Tuesday. That included the Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns,Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs, a league source. Baskett is expected to draw heavy interest on the waiver wire.

* Also, the Saints are practicing outdoors today, as they begin preparations for a trip to face the Eagles, our firends at the Times-Picayune are reporting. The Saints opened last week with a victory over Detroit indoors at the Superdome.


To read our post on Kevin Kolb's comment and wat Drew Brees says about playing in Philly, click here.

To read our earlier report on the state of the 53-man roster, click here.