Eagles right tackle Shawn Andrews appeared in the locker room before practice Monday, beaming and optimistic.
"If I had to guess, I would say, 'hell, yeah,' " Andrews said, when asked if he expects to be in the lineup for the Sept. 13 season opener at Carolina. Andrews hasn't practiced with the team since his back tightened up following the fitness run, the day after veterans reported to Lehigh.
Andrews said he had an epidural and another injection last week when he visited Dr. Robert Watkins, who last year repaired the disc injury that sidelined Andrews from Game 2 through the remainder of the season. Andrews brought up that game yesterday, maintaining he was playing at a dominant level when he was injured Andrews was asked his answer to critics who question how much he wants to play, how important football is to him.
"If you question my love for the game, my dedication, just look at the game I got hurt, the Dallas Cowboy game ... That'll let you know the kind of note I left off on ... That'll let you know what my passion for the game is," Andrews said.
"I had people hit me up on my Youtube (singing) videos the other day, making all these comments -- 'you love music more than football!' ... don't judge me. Football is a very strong passion, but I love music, as well. I just say leave the judging up to God, and we're going to get this this right."
By the way, if you want to check out Andrews' music productions on YouTube, here's a link. Warning -- there's a lot more talking and explaining than rapping. Lyrics are not his strong suit.
"I've had a longer passion for music, ever since third grade. When I was getting in trouble beating on the desk, making beats and stuff, getting whippings for that, that's a passion, Andrews said. "Football came along, and that's still a passion, as well. I lvoe football. Football is my job, what I do to take care of my family. At the same time, I can't do this forever, so why not do the music thing as well ... Football is No. 1 right now."
Eagles coach Andy Reid indicated last week that Watkins had said Andrews' problem this time was muscular, not disc-related. Andrews hinted there was more to the diagnosis.
"I don't think people get epidurals for just muscle-related issues. I'll just say that," he said. "I had two shots in my back and I was put to sleep. You tell me if that's a guy who wants to not play football, vs. doing everything possible, going to sleep on diprivan, and getting two shots in his back, that doesn't want to play football, that doesn't want to play alongside his brother (right guard Stacy Andrews)."
Diprivan is the powerful anesthetic implicated in Michael Jackson's death. Andrews also said that before training camp started, he called Eagles coach Andy Reid and announced that he was going to "sell out like Michael Jackson" -- put forth extra effort -- in training camp.
"I'm happy right now, and I'll be even happier when I get back on the field," said Andrews, who said he planned to work out with injured players again Monday, as he did Sunday.
Fullback Leonard Weaver (MCL) said he planned to practice Monday. UPDATED: Kyle Eckel still seemed to be working as the first unit fullback.