Philadelphia Eagles' OTA: Westbrook, Brown, and Andrews Remain Absent

Leo PizziniAnalyst IJune 2, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MAY 1: Running back Brian Westbrook #36 (R) stands on the sideline with second round draft pick running back LeSean McCoy #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles during minicamp at the NovaCare Complex on May 1, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

The injury news and drama from the organized team activities is beginning to roll in. Some seemingly minor injuries to key players and disgruntlement at the cornerback position shouldn't impact the team in the end.

Regardless, these players really need to find a way to stay healthy and get to practice to make this 2009 season as good as it can be. 


Brian Westbrook, Running Back: Ankle

Westbrook is sitting out of the OTA with an ankle injury. The injury has been reported as discomfort and of no association with his knee injury from 2008.

The move with Westbrook is most likely precautionary. "B-West" doesn't have anything to learn about the basics of the system and their is no reason to risk anything at this point.

Westbrook will need to do a better job of staying healthy this year, regardless of this injury. He needs to make sure that his ankles and knees are strong, flexible, and reinforced so that he can prevent the little nagging injuries from taking the pop out of his step.

This disconcerting aspect of this injury is that there is still no contact. How will Westbrook hold up throughout this season? If he continues to be injured, we may see more of McCoy than we expect.

If the injury is really minor, it's probably a result of overcompensating for some tenderness in his knee. If he needs the rest, the Eagles need to give him as much of it as they can afford.


Sheldon Brown, Cornerback: No Show

Sheldon Brown did not show for the OTA. He is not required to come, but his intention has not been made clear yet.

This could easily mean nothing. The absence could be completely excused, but with all of the pre-draft drama regarding Brown, one tends to think the worst.

This team is better with Brown, but if he really does not want to be here, Reid did a nice job backing him up at the position.

With Brown out of the lineup, a great opportunity may emerge for Ikegwuonu, Hobbs or Hanson. These guys can all play and they will have more time to prove it.

I've been standing up for Sheldon Brown because of his history with the team. He may want to continue to sit out, but now is not the time to make a point. I'm going to continue to assume that the absence is not indicative of Sheldon's ethic for 2009. 


Stacey Andrews, Guard/Tackle: Is He Ready to Practice?

Stacey Andrews is reportedly working out in individual exercises. That makes him that much closer to group workouts. 

Max Jean-Gilles has been playing right guard in the most recent OTAs. That is a clear demonstration of the depth this line has. Nick Cole and Max Jean-Gilles are crystal clear starting caliber linemen.

A question that remains is the move of Shawn Andrews to tackle and it's relativity to the season's starting lineup.

It seems like the coaching staff may have some concerns regarding the mobility of Stacey Andrews following his knee surgery. Shawn Andrews is more foot loose at the book end position anyway, so it all makes good sense.

If Stacey Andrews suffers a set back playing as a guard, Cole or Gilles will be able to fill in nicely.

It seems very wise to put the bigger question mark in a position with more talented and practice-ready depth at backup.

If Shawn Andrews has a set back at tackle, Stacey can move out to a familiar tackle position and Cole or Gilles can fill the gap.

Despite the concerns with these marquee players, the Eagles are still in a strong position at this point in the offseason. Westbrook is going to be a huge key to this team's success if he is healthy and that needs to be the No.1 priority.