Westbrook fights through the pain

A bum knee that has robbed him of his explosiveness. A taking-forever-to-heal sore ankle that won’t let him make those stop-on-a-dime cuts we’re so accustomed to seeing him make.

A short week to recover from the beating he took in Sunday’s loss to the Ravens and get ready for last night’s game against the Cardinals.

When he hobbled into the auditorium at the NovaCare Complex Tuesday for his weekly news conference, it was even money whether Westbrook would even make it back to the locker room without assistance, let alone suit up and play 2 days later against the Cardinals.

After averaging just 3.5 yards per touch in the previous four games, Westbrook was asked if he — and the Eagles — might be better off if he just sat this one out.

"I don’t think we’re at the point where he \[coach Andy Reid\] would take me out completely, especially with our injury situation,” he said. “I still think I can help out this team, whether it’s picking up the blitz or running and catching the ball. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

Somehow, some way, Westbrook managed to get his aching body ready to play last night. And somehow, some way, he managed to turn in one of his best performances of the season in a game the Eagles absolutely had to win to keep their ever-so-slim playoff hopes alive.

Just 4 days after the Ravens held him to 34 yards from scrimmage, Westbrook scored a career-high four touchdowns and rushed for 110 yards on 22 carries in the Eagles’ 48-20 win over the Cardinals.

It was just the eighth time in Eagles history that a player has scored four TDs in a game. He also became the first NFL player to rush for 100 yards and score two rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns in a game since the Baltimore Colts’ Lydell Mitchell in 1975.

“We needed this game,” Westbrook said. “It was a little vindication for my offensive line. We did a great job. My fullback [played well]. The wide receivers went downfield and made some plays, made some blocks. Those guys have been dogged. We’ve been dogged all week long. Now we did what we needed to do to handle business.”

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