A smiling Shawn Andrews said, 'Hell, yeah," about his chances of returning in time for the Eagles' season opener and provided a little more detail about his trip to Los Angeles last week to see a back specialist.
The Eagles tackle held court today at his locker stall, one day after returning to the field to participate in workouts with the team's training staff. Andrews said he felt great after yesterday's practice, which included 14 40-yard sprints for the tackle.
"I actually went to Rick [Burkholder] a couple of days ago," Andrews said of the Eagles trainer. "I said, 'Rick, I'm feeling pretty good. I did the two shots and did a little acupuncture.' That's really helped me turn the corner. Now I'm feeling real positive about it."
So when does the tackle, who has missed all of the preseason thus far with a sore back, think he will be able to practice?
"I really can't gauge it, but I think it's coming up soon," Andrews said. "I think it's really going to happen here real soon. I'm just elated [about] the way I feel now. This thing is about to take off."
Still, he said that he expects to be back for the Sept. 13 season opener at Charlotte. "If I had to guess, I'd say, 'Hell yeah,'" he guessed.
Andrews was in Los Angeles last week to see Dr. Robert Watkins, the back specialist that repaired a herniated disk in his back last October. Andrews said that he was given two shots and was put under.
"I know one was an epideral and one was a ... block, or something like that," Andrews said.
Both shots are used to relieve lower back pain, most commonly for women who are in labor. Last week, Eagles coach Andy Reid said that Watkins' examination showed no structural damage in Andrews' back, that his issues were all muscle related. Andrews said he was given Diprivan, which is used in anethesia.
"I don't think people get epidurals for muscle-related issues. I'll just say that," Andrews said. "I had two shots in my back and I was put to sleep. Now you tell me if that's a guy that doesn't want to play football."
Andrews said last week that he believed people were questioning his desire to play football. He missed most of training camp last season with what he termed as symptoms related to depression. He returned in time for the season, but injured his back in the second half of the second game against Dallas. He didn't play the rest of the year.
"If you question my love for the game and my dedication, just look at the last game that I got hurt -- the Dallas Cowboys game," Andrews said. "Check out the first half and see if Shawn Andrews does not have a passion for this game."
Andrews re-injured his back on the first day of camp after a conditioning run. He hasn't practiced since and has received his treatment indoors. He returned to the field, however, on Saturday.
Winston Justice has been filling in at right tackle, although the Eagles have other options if Andrews doesn't make it back for the season opener. His brother, Stacy, is at right guard, but played right tackle with the Bengals all last season. Todd Herremans can play tackle, although the guard is out for the remainder of the preseason with a stress foot reaction. Jon Runyan, who played right tackle for the previous nine seasons, was recently cleared to run after off-season knee surgery, but the Eagles aren't believed to be interested in bringing back their former player.
"If I ever never been motivated in my life I'm motivated now," Andrews said. "I don't pay attention to that. I don't read the newspapers right now. I don't want the news as much. I watch CNN. I watch all the other networks. But I don't pay attention to anything postive or negative about Shawn."