Brian Westbrook played most of Sunday's loss against the Washington Redskins with two fractured ribs, Eagles coach Andy Reid revealed at his news conference this morning.
Reid did not guarantee that his star running back would be able to play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
"We'll just have to see," the coach said. "We'll see how things go here the next few days. He's sore."
Westbrook said on his 950 ESPN radio show tonight that he had trouble sleeping and was in extreme pain Sunday night, but he did not rule out playing Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
"It's kind of similar to the ankle," Westbrook said. "It's kind of wait and see. You rehab it. You continue to try to do everything you can to get yourself ready. You go to practice. You watch the tape. You understand your plays. At the end of the day, you have to try to get a feel for what it's going to feel like.
"Can you stand that pain and be effective? Are you going to be out there at 45 percent and not being able to take a hit? No, I would rather have Correll Buckhalter ... take over and carry this team. I'm optimistic about it, but at the same time I'm realistic about it."
And the reality is that it's difficult to play with two fractured ribs.
"Everything you do, it affects you," Westbrook said. "You turn right, you turn left, you try to make a move and that's part of my game trying to make people miss. You get hit on the right, you feel it. You get hit on the left, you feel it. It definitely limits the things you are able to do."
Reid said the injury occurred on the Eagles' eighth offensive play of the game, but he was mistaken. The injury, in fact, occurred two plays before that when Westbrook ran through a hole on the left side for five yards. He was tackled low on the play by Redskins safety LaRon Landry, then hit from behind by safety Chris Horton as he went to the ground.
When Westbrook got up at the end of the play, he could be seen touching his rib area. The Eagles' star running back gritted his teeth as he returned to the huddle, then touched his rib area one more time.
The next play was a reverse to Reggie Brown and Westbrook did not have any contact on the play, but he left the field afterward and was replaced by Buckhalter for one play.
Westbrook did return for the remainder of the series and, in fact, made a great block on an 8-yard run by DeSean Jackson on the first play he was back on the field. Westbrook finished the first series with a 9-yard run for a touchdown. Immediately after the drive, however, Westbrook removed his jersey and pads and the teams doctors and training staff started working on his chest.
He missed some of the Eagles' second offensive series, going into the locker room for a pain-killer injection, then returned and played the remainder of the game. He carried the ball three times for 13 yards and caught one pass for 17 yards before the injury. After the injury, he ran nine times for 20 yards and caught five passes for 34 yards. That means he averaged 7.5 yards per touch before the injury and just 3.9 yards afterward.
"Everybody talks about how that pain shot numbs it ... but it doesn't," Westbrook said. "Every hit, you feel it. Every time you run and turn, you feel it."
This is not the first time that Westbrook has had fractured ribs. He also fractured his ribs in Week 7 of the 2004 season in a game against the Cleveland Browns, then missed the following week's game against the Baltimore Ravens. Westbrook returned from a strained right ankle in Sunday's loss to Washinigton after missing the previous game against the Chicago Bears.
"I think this time it's a little bit less pain," Westbrook said. "I'm on some medication to try to mask the pain. Hopefully, that pain is tolerable enough that I'll be able to play with it. Maybe the pain pills have gotten stronger over the last few years."
Reid also said two-time Pro Bowl guard Shawn Andrews, who has missed the Eagles' last three games because of a back injury, is getting better.
"We'll see how he does this week," Reid said.
POSSIBLE ROSTER MOVE. Given how the Eagles' offense has struggled near the opposing team's goal line, Reid was asked if he was considering a roster move that would give the team a true fullback. So far this season, they have mostly used defensive tackle Dan Klecko at fullback in goal-line situations.
"We'll just see how things go with that," Reid said.
Typically when the coach isn't planning to do something, he'll dismiss the idea immediately.