Vick, Eight starters staying home

Eight projected starters won't make the trip to Indianapolis for Thursday's preseason game with the Colts, coach Andy Reid said today after practice. And neither will Michael Vick.

The following injured players, many of whom were expected to start this coming season, will stay back in Philly while the Eagles play their second preseason game: DE Trent Cole (shoulder), RB Brian Westbrook (ankle), CB Sheldon Brown (ribs), G Todd Herremans (foot), DE Darren Howard (groin), T Jason Peters (quad), T Shawn Andrews (back) and G Stacy Andrews (knee). That's 4/5 of the starting offensive line.

Howard's injury was a bit of a surprise. He had off-season surgery to correct a sports hernia, but Reid said the recent injury was in another area of the groin.

Reid did give some good news. Dr. Robert Watkins examined Shawn Andrews' back in Los Angeles yesterday and found no structural damage. It's just muscle related. Reid said he still had no idea when Andrews would return.

"We really have to go off symptoms and what he's feeling," Reid said.

LB Omar Gaither (knee), QB Kevin Kolb (knee), DE Bryan Smith (concussion) and Vick -- position to be defined -- are also staying home.

Reid said that he will play his first team for the first half of the game. With two inexperienced tackles filling in -- Winston Justice at RT and King Dunlap at LT -- I'm not sure if quarterback Donovan McNabb is going to make it to the half.

"I expect the guys to get in there and do their thing and play well," Reid said. "King is the one with the least amount of experience in there. He's just got to step up to the plate."

Dunlap will have to face off with Colts all-pro defensive end Dwight Freeney. Justice will take on another Pro Bowler in Robert Mathis. Yikes.

The second and third teams will take over after the break.

TE Brent Celek, meanwhile, is back from his shoulder sprain and will travel with the team.


Click here for an earlier post on the Eagles' new addition and the release of safety Rashad Baker. And here for some musings on the Wildcat.