Reconsider taking Westbrook in your fantasy draft

(Tom Mihalek/Associated Press)

(Tom Mihalek/Associated Press)

Take Eagles RB Brian Westbrook off your fantasy draft board.

Westbrook reportedly will miss the rest of the Eagles’ offseason workouts and won’t return until the start of the season because of an ankle injury. Westbrook could require minor surgery, which would push back his return even further.

If you haven’t been concerned about Westbrook’s injury status until now, much regards to your Captain Edward Smith-like stoicism. But Westbrook’s ankle is like a giant iceberg right now, and it’s time to avoid it.

Actually, Westbrook’s current NFL.com running back ranking of No. 8 has long been a surprise. Westbrook already is coming off minor knee surgery, and he will be 30 when the season starts. That’s right, 30 — the magic age that has led NFL.com fantasy guru Michael Fabiano to tee off on Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson, the 13th-ranked running back.

Tomlinson has never missed a start because of an injury, but Westbrook always seems to be battling a nagging injury from training camp through the end of the season. Tomlinson also had more rushing and receiving yards than Westbrook last season despite LT’s own injury concerns. Tomlinson trailed in total touchdowns (14-12), but five of Westbrook’s touchdowns came in Week 13 against Arizona. And then Westbrook had another monster game the following week but was a ghost during the fantasy playoffs.

Conversely, Tomlinson scored three touchdowns for me during one of my fantasy league championships in Week 17. (Don’t blame me for playing a full season.)

None of that matters much now. Westbrook should be avoided in the first round of fantasy drafts, and he should trail Tomlinson in the rankings. Westbrook might not have the carries that Tomlinson has, but he just can’t stay healthy. The Eagles also drafted LeSean McCoy in the second round, meaning Westbrook’s role could be further diminished this season.

If you’re planning to draft Westbrook, don’t do it.

It’s never too early to start thinking about fantasy football. Get your league up and running on NFL.com.

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