Eagles coach Andy Reid said today that right tackle Shawn Andrews is out for Sunday's season opener at Carolina and that Winston Justice would start in Andrews' place.
Andrews did not partake in practice for the second straight day, but was at the NovaCare Complex. He had no comment.
Brian Westbrook left practice early today, but Reid said it was just a precaution to keep the running back off the turf at the Eagles' indoor practice facility. Westbrook was added to the injury report yesterday with a unspecified knee condition. But Reid said his starting tailback would be ready for the Panthers.
"He's fine," Reid said. "We've been trying to monitor him as much as we can and just limit his reps."
Andrews re-injured his back during Wednesday's practice and told the team about it on Thursday, Reid said. Andrews sat out practice on Thursday for the first time in 12 days. "His back flared up again," Reid said. "Our people or Shawn feel like he can't make it through this game."
Reid was asked if he was worried about Andrews' injury being a long-term concern.
"I just think it's a matter of his back getting better," Reid said. "That's how these things work. I've said that from the get-go. When you're dealing with backs, they flare up and things happen."
Justice ran with the first team the last two days. Reid said Justice has the opportunity to steal the job from Andrews.
"I thought one of the real positives coming out of camp was Winston Justice and how he played," Reid said. "It was valuable, valuable experience he got in there."
The Eagles brought in Jon Runyan on Thursday to evaluate his rehabiliation from off-season knee surgery. Reid said that Runyan's appearance coming the day after Andrews' injury was nothing but a coincidence. "That's not what that was," he said.
He said it was the first time the team had worked him out since off-season knee surgery.
"I got a look at him first hand," Reid said. "I'm not going to get into how he looked and all that. ... We haven't done anything there. But it was good to see him."
Whether the team is seriously considering bringing back its former long-time right tackle or not, it appears unlikely that Runyan would be signed before the Panthers game. As a vested veteran, Runyan would be guaranteed his entire base salary if the Eagles signed their former player to a contract. Plus, the Eagles might not have space on the roster to make such an addition -- unless, of course, they dealt wide receiver Reggie Brown between now and the game.
The 35-year-old Runyan was expected to be in Buffalo to work out for the Bills today.
Andrews hasn't played in a game since the second game of last season and missed all of training camp and most of the preseason after he re-injured his back during a conditioning run. He returned to practice on Aug. 29 and participated in every session until missing Thursday's practice.
Reid also said that Nick Cole would start at left guard in place of the injured Todd Herremans. Linebacker Joe Mays is also out for the game.
Reid was asked who the third quarterback was -- after Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb -- for the Panthers game. "I can't tell you that," he said. Michael Vick will be serving the first of a two game suspension and the team released A.J. Feeley on Sunday.