Andy Reid ended Shawn Andrews' 2009 season today, placing him on injured reserve after his balky back just would not allow him back on the field. Reid's statement on the transaction was brief, but somehow conveys the frustration of a teacher who has finally given up on a wayward student:
"It's disappointing to lose any player for the entire season, but we have full confidence in the other linemen we have on this roster to help this team succeed. We wish Shawn all the best as he recovers and rehabilitates from this injury."
Despite the pain I'm sure back spasms entail, I think the Eagles' brass believes the enigmatic Andrews could have played through them. In their minds if his last name was Runyan or Thomas, he would have and they've just had enough waiting for him to be that tough guy.
Will this stint on the IR end his career in green? Can he redeem himself in their eyes by busting his tail in rehab and stop the incessant YouTubing and twittering.
If Andrews' back is really that bad and he never gets to suit up for the Birds again it'll be tragic. Say what you will about his eccentric behavior -the twitters, the hair cut, the childish air about him - the dude can maul. With better health, both mental and physical, Andrews could have possibly been the best lineman in Eagles history. He certainly was the most athletic I've ever seen. A true dancing bear.
If this is a case of a guy simply losing the will to compete, to not endure the aches and pains Monday mornings bring, then it's a shame but a heck of lot easier to see him walk away.
During the off-season it seemed like he still had some emotional issues he was working through. His talk of how much he wanted to play and how hard he was working to get back seemed to be more for his own benefit than ours, trying to convince himself that was the truth, because we weren't buying it.
Some will call him a pussy for not wanting to play through the pain. I'm not sure that's fair. If you don't love what you're doing you don't love what you're doing. If you make the Pro Bowl as an NFL lineman you can't be a pussy.
Andrews needs to continue to get healthy before he can contribute anything on the field. Whether or not he's an Eagle when he does that is the question. And maybe getting healthy in the head finally lets him come to grips with the fact he just doesn't want to play anymore, and he can finally twitter that to the world.