Despite assurances from Andy Reid on Friday that Brian Westbrook was still good to go, the Eagles running back will not dress for tonight’s Cowboys game. Westbrook has now missed two straight games after suffering a concussion at Washington two weeks ago.
"On Friday afternoon, Brian began experiencing symptoms of a mild headache," Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder said in a statement. "From that point forward, we had Brian re-evaluated by (team internist) Dr. Gary Dorshimer and we put him through extensive testing. Even though those tests were determined to be negative, we all thought it would be in the best interest of Brian and the team that he should be deactivated for tonight's game. We will continue to evaluate Brian this week."
Linebacker Chris Gocong, who injured his right quadriceps and hamstring last week, was also among the Eagles' inactives. Rookie Moise Fokou will start at strong-side linebacker in Gocong's place.
While his making last week’s game against the Giants was considered a long shot, there was almost every indication Westbrook would play vs. Dallas. He took almost all of the first-team repetitions at practice on Wednesday and Thursday and sounded confident that he would return when he met with reporters last week.
But he was held out of Friday’s practice and was listed as “questionable” on the team’s injury report. Reid, however, said that Westbrook would play.
“He has had two hard days of work and really [LeSean McCoy] hasn’t gotten a ton of reps so like I’ve done on other Fridays I kept Brian out and limited,” Reid said then.
McCoy will earn his third start of the season. He started against Kansas City in Week 3 when Westbrook sat with a sprained ankle and again last week. In the two starts the rookie ran for 166 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries. He and fullback Leonard Weaver accounted for 157 of the Eagles’ 180 yards on the ground against New York.
Westbrook has run for 197 yards and a score on 41 totes this season, but has lacked the explosiveness that used to be a trademark. The 30-year-old had off-season knee and ankle surgery and didn’t play throughout the preseason. He admitted on Wednesday that he was concerned about the long-term effects of a concussion -- this one the first of his career.
“It’s almost like a sense of uncertainty there,” he said. “You’re not quite sure what’s going to happen and how things work. I didn’t have a great understanding of concussions before.”
The Eagles' other inactives were: defensive end Victor Abiamiri (knee), cornerback Dimitri Patterson (quadriceps, hand), wide receiver Kevin Curtis (knee), guard Max Jean-Gilles (shoulder), running back P.J. Hill and guard Mike McGlynn.
All three quarterbacks are active.
Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. Check back for more updates.