Monday, July 6, 2015

What about the running game?

Correll Buckhalter (medial collateral ligament) said he would not be able to play Thursday but hopes to be ready for the next game, Dec. 7 at the Giants. Brian Westbrook (knee and ankle) also sat out Monday's practice. It's clear Westbrook is limited, but Andy Reid said Westbrook can't make his injuries worse by playing on them, and can still be useful.

What about the running game?

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With all the appropriate attention on the Eagles quarterback situation, the news on the running backs fell a bit under the radar.

Correll Buckhalter (medial collateral ligament) said he would not be able to play Thursday but hopes to be ready for the next game, Dec. 7 at the Giants.

Brian Westbrook (knee and ankle) also sat out Monday’s practice. It’s clear Westbrook is limited, but Andy Reid said Westbrook can’t make his injuries worse by playing on them, and can still be useful.

“There’s certain things he can do and do well, and we just have to utilize him in those areas,” Reid said.

Reid said Lorenzo Booker and possibly extra fullback Kyle Eckel will be activated. Booker has been inactive three games in a row and has only 16 carries (for 32 yards) this season.

“I think he’ll be OK,” Reid said, when asked about Booker’s inactivity. “Protection was the main thing [Booker struggled with], and that’s what he’s worked on. I think he’ll be all right there.”

A limited Westbrook and no Buckhalter won't make life easier for Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb or anyone else for that matter, assuming the Eagles' offensive coaches want to run the ball at some point.

The Eagles ran the ball 21 times and threw it 41 against the Ravens. That works out to 32.8 percent run and 64 percent pass (along with two sacks). For the season, the Birds are running it 36.6 percent and throwing it 60.9 percent.

Those pass percentages are higher than the percentages in each of the last two seasons. In 2007, the totals were 40.2 percent run, 55.1 percent pass. In 2006, the totals were 42.1 percent run and 55 percent pass.

Also, consider the play calls made over the last two weeks on third down. Against Cincinnati, the Eagles were 3 for 18 on third down, with all 18 as pass plays. Against Baltimore, the Eagles were 3 for 12 on third down with 11 of them as pass plays.

Overall, the Eagles are 26th in the NFL in rushing at 94.5 yards per game.

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