With Eagles running back Brian Westbrook suffering a second concussion — or possibly renewing symptoms from the initial concussion he sustained less than a month ago — there is speculation that he could be out for a prolonged period. Or possibly for the rest of the season, if not for good.
Westbrook was sidelined during Philadelphia’s 31-23 loss to San Diego Sunday and replaced by rookie LeSean McCoy, who filled in the past two games Westbrook missed because of a concussion initially suffered Oct. 26 against Washington. This was Westbrook’s first game back since sustaining that concussion, which occurred when he took a knee to the head and briefly lost consciousness.
Eagles coach Andy Reid said no determination as to Westbrook’s future could immediately be made. However, he expressed worry about the eight-year veteran’s health, more so than his football career.
“We’ll just see how Brian does here,” Reid said after the game. “I know it’s a concern for everybody, us included, and Brian. We’ll evaluate him and we’ll see how things go this next week. We’ll make sure we evaluate it and take every step that we can to make sure that he’s OK. We did that the last time and we’re going to keep doing it. We’ll see how it goes. That was a heck of a hit he took.
“I feel bad for Brian. I feel bad for him. It’s something that our doctors will look at and be on top of right when we get back … In these types of situations, football is secondary. We’ve got to look at this kid and for his future and make sure everything is OK for him before he gets back out there.”
Reid declined to speculate if the most recent injury could be career-threatening. Westbrook was scheduled to play last week against Dallas, but was deactivated when he began having headaches late in the week. He did not show any negative symptoms this week and was medically cleared to play against the Chargers.
To lose Westbrook would be a blow for Philadelphia, which remains in solid playoff contention but has lost a slew of players to injuries of late. McCoy has stepped in admirably, but the Eagles could be in the market for a free agent running back. Veteran Larry Johnson, who was cut by the Chiefs last week, as well as Edgerrin James, who was recently released by Seattle, could be possibilities.