Shawn Andrews' season is over and his career could be in jeopardy, too.
The Eagles placed the two-time Pro Bowl guard on injured reserve this morning, which also cleared a roster spot for quarterback Jeff Garcia, who the team officially signed today.
"It's disappointing to lose any player for the entire season, but we have full confidence in the other linemen we have on this roster to help this team succeed," coach Andy Reid said in a statement. "We wish Shawn all the best as he recovers and rehabilitates from this injury."
Andrews' season-ending back injury means that Winston Justice will be the team's right tackle for the second straight week and probably for the remainder of the season. The Eagles, according to a team source, were so pleased with Justice's opening-day performance against the Carolina Panthers that they do not feel the need to bring back veteran free agent Jon Runyan, who worked last week at the NovaCare Complex.
Runyan has also had workouts with Kansas City and Buffalo, but he remains unsigned.
The team source said the Eagles have some real concerns about Andrews' future because this is the second straight season that a back injury has sidelined him.
Andrews injured his back in Week 2 last season at Dallas and eventually underwent surgery by Dr. Robert Watkins in Southern California.
After an extensive offseason rehab, Andrews did not have any problems during the Eagles' spring camps at the NovaCare Complex. He arrived at Lehigh University for the start of training camp in good spirits and seemingly in great shape, but shortly after the team's conditioning test run his back stiffened at a team meeting.
He missed the remainder of training camp at Lehigh and eventually made another visit to Watkins in Southern California, where he received two injections to relieve the pain. Watkins told Andrews there was no structural damage to his back, but Andrews returned to practice for the first time Aug. 29 and it appeared as if he was going to be ready for the start of the season.
That changed after Wednesday's practice last week when he again complained of pain. Runyan visited the following day and Justice lined up at right tackle with the first-team offense. After starting all four games in the preseason, Justice made his second career start and first at right tackle against Carolina.
Now, Justice has a job he could keep for a long time and there is plenty of reason to wonder if Andrews' football career is over.