Brian Westbrook was out on the field as a full participant in practice on Sunday for the first time following the second of his offseason ankle surgeries. Westbrook spent the time at Lehigh working with trainer Rick Burkholder on the side field doing rehab, including a drill with a soccer ball at one point.
Westbrook will be among a large contingent of Eagles not making the trip to Indianapolis for Thursday's game.
He was in the front of the microphones for the first time today at the NovaCare Complex to talk about his progress, when he thinks he will be ready and the new offensive line that has been hit hard by injuries.
On how things are going back out on the practice field:
“Things are going well; better than before. There’s been a gradual process but it’s been pretty good. I haven’t had many setbacks, and I’m just excited to be back out there with the team.”
On whether he is ahead of schedule:
“I don’t know. It just depends on who you ask. I think I’m right on time, right where I wanted to be at. With talking to [head] Coach [Andy Reid] and talking to the trainers, I think we’re right where we want to be at.”
On how challenging it was to go through two surgeries this offseason:
“Any time that you have surgery it’s going to be tough. It definitely was tough for me to come back and rehab throughout the summer, but it’s one of those things, [it’s] part of being a football player, you are going to have injuries, you’re going to have surgery, and it’s all about how you come back and how you play afterwards.”
On what is preventing him from being completely back:
“I’m just still trying to get my feet underneath me. I still want to continue working on my cuts; I still want to continue working my balance, things like that. It’s coming along. It’s one of those things where it’s a work in progress. I’m excited about being back though.”
On how hard it is for him to be patient and take small steps in his rehab process:
“It’s not too hard. I think Rick and I have a great line of communication. He kind of gives me an idea of what he wants to do, what he’s trying to accomplish with each exercise, and I just basically follow his orders. He’s done a great job, him and his training staff, have done a great job of getting me back to where I’m at now.”
On whether he needs preseason reps to get ready for the regular season:
“We usually have a pretty good pace at practice, so I wouldn’t mind getting in a game a little bit, but I don’t think that not having any preseason game would hurt me as far as the regular season.”
On whether he is concerned that the starting offensive line hasn’t practiced together going into the regular season:
“Ideally speaking, you want to try and get some practice reps together: offensive line, quarterback, running back, wide receivers, everybody. But, unfortunately in this situation this year, it doesn’t look like we’re going to have that opportunity, so we have to go out there and be professionals and make the most out of the situation that we have right now. I know Jason [Peters] will be back, I know that Todd [Herremans] will be back, and hopefully Shawn [Andrews] will be back. Stacy [Andrews] will be back, as well as myself, so hopefully we are going to get some opportunity to work together, whether it’s the week before the regular season game or it’s the regular season game.”
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