The end for Andrews?

Nothing is certain when it comes to ballplayers and bad backs. Nothing is certain, either, with a football franchise that throws emotional haymakers on the hour, it seems. But you really have to wonder if this is it for Shawn Andrews.

The news that the Eagles have placed Andrews on injured reserve, ending his season, in order to make room on the roster for newly-arrived quarterback Jeff Garcia is nothing short of stunning. This is a team that is carrying seven wide receivers for some unknown reason, yet it gives up on Andrews for the 2009 season. It is just breathtaking.

When you think about the career Andrews should have had, you cannot help but shake your head at the misfortune, at the depression, at the back injury, at the rest of it. It is all tied together, this uniquely free-spirited player and this uniquely awful set of mishaps. But it leaves us here today, wondering.

Are the Eagles done with him? Has there been some new medical revelation? Has the fine play of Winston Justice in the first game of the season accelerated a move that was probably coming anyway? And what of the future?

No one knows. At the same time, none of us would be surprised, not now, if we never see Shawn Andrews in an Eagles jersey again. Football is the cruelest game that way. You have two choices in the NFL: get up or get out of the way, lest the whole gargantuan train run you over. Everybody who plays in the NFL learns very quickly that nobody stops the train -- and certainly not somebody with a bad back.

Again, his downfall has been stunning. And with the Eagles, in this season of tumult, we can only wonder what the news might be tomorrow.