Eagles coach Andy Reid anticipated the obvious question: Why can't L.J. Smith do what second-year tight end Brent Celek did Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks?
"L.J. attracts so much attention," the Eagles' coach said during his day-after news conference following the Eagles' 26-7 win in Seattle. "Celek comes in and he's kind of an unknown guy and so there were times they didn't do a great job of covering him. I'm not taking anything away from him because I thought he played his heart out."
Celek finished with 131 yards on six catches, a regular-season franchise record for a tight end.
"When he had man-to-man (coverage), which he had three of those, he just dominated there," Reid said. "He did a great job. But I know what the obvious question is and it has nothing to do with L.J.'s play. L.J. is one of those guys that everybody talks about and the other team is very aware of. They make sure they have one guy on him at all times and sometimes two men."
The other obvious questiion, of course, is whether Celek will start Sunday against the New York Giants even if Smith has recovered from the concussion that kept him out of the Seattle game.
"L.J. is the starter when he comes back," Reid said. "Hopefully, it works out with his (concussion). L.J. is a Pro Bowl player and people pay a lot of attention to him because of that. Celek stepped in and played at that level, too."
INJURY REPORT. Reid said cornerback Lito Sheppard has a strained groin and probably won't be able to practice Wednesday when the Eagles begin on-field preparations for their game against the New York Giants. Sheppard suffered the injury in the first half of yesterday's game against Seattle and did not return.
Guard Shawn Andrews, who underwent back surgery in Southern California two weeks ago, is being evaluated again today by his surgeon Robert Watkins. If all goes well, Reid said Andrews could be released to return to Philadelphia today.
Reid said Jason Avant, who missed yesterday's game with an arm injury, will likely be able to practice Wednesday.