From a fantasy perspective, no team is more mind-achingly, frustratingly intriguing than the Philadelphia Eagles heading into Week Three. Not only do the Eagles have what looks to be a pretty sweet matchup against the hapless Kansas City Chiefs, but Philadelphia’s most recent injury report would make for half of a pretty good fantasy starting lineup:
Quarterback: Donovan McNabb—doubtful with rib injury;
Running back: Brian Westbrook—questionable with ankle injury;
Wide receiver: Desean Jackson—questionable with groin injury;
Wide receiver: Kevin Curtis—doubtful with knee injury.
Most McNabb owners are probably not counting on him playing this weekend. Certainly they should not be. McNabb is reportedly progressing well, but there is no reason for the Eagles to play him this week and risk further injury when they have a bye week coming up next week.
As for Desean Jackson, he participated fully in Friday’s practice and should be good to go on Sunday. With Kevin Curtis likely out, and rookie Jeremy Maclin lining up opposite Jackson, I expect Desean and Brent Celek to get most of the targets from probable starting Quarterback Kevin Kolb. The reports were pretty solid about Jackson, so he should be ready to contribute normally.
With all that said, the most compelling and influential injury issue in Philadelphia for Week Three is Brian Westbrook.
Westbrook has not practiced all week while dealing with swelling in his injured ankle. It’s the same ankle that Westbrook had surgery on this past offseason, and this fact has caused some extra concern. However, as any Westbrook fantasy owner knows, he often plays on Sunday despite not practicing throughout the week.
I’ve done you the service of reading pretty much every injury update and fantasy article written about Westbrook over the 48 hours. Here is the consensus: most tentatively expect him to play, but do expect LeSean McCoy to get increased touches.
So here is my advice:
If you own Westbrook: Pencil him into your starting lineup, but be ready to make a last-minute switch once the list of inactive players comes out late tomorrow morning.
If you own LeSean McCoy: Play him at your flex position if you have no obvious choices, and also track the inactives list. If Westbrook is a no-go, McCoy immediately becomes a must-start RB No. 2 at a minimum.
I’ll update this post as soon as I find out anything more about this situation. I own Desean Jackson and LeSean McCoy in numerous leagues, so I will be playing close attention to the Eagles tomorrow morning.