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Philadelphia Eagles: Brodrick Bunkley's Season Might Not Be Over

Bob CunninghamSenior Analyst IOctober 13, 2010

Contrary to initial reports, Eagles' defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley might not have to miss the entire season. In fact, according to head coach Andy Reid, Bunkley might not even need surgery and could play as soon as this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

Bunkley apparently met with Dr. James Andrews (the guy who seemingly does every surgery for any athlete regardless of sport) for a second opinion. I'm not quite sure why he wouldn't be the first guy Bunkley would see, but either way Andrews told him avoiding surgery and simply rehabbing the elbow might work and save his season.

"Dr. Andrews said he's had some guys who had worse injuries and played through them and other guys whose injuries weren't as bad but couldn’t play through them," Reid said via Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com. "It's just different for everybody, so we'll see. We'll rehab him and see how it goes. Yesterday, it didn't look good. But he has a chance to get back out there.

"Right now, the swelling is down, and he's not in a lot of pain. He won’t practice (Wednesday), but beyond that, we'll just have to see."

I'd be shocked if Bunkley practiced or played at all this week, but just the fact that it's a possibility is exciting. The defense is already in enough trouble with Bunkley on the field. Losing him for the season would have all-but ensured one disaster game after another.

But what about the first doctor who said Bunkley would have to miss the season? He must have gone to medical school and have a degree as well, so how is there such a huge difference of opinion regarding Bunkley's elbow?

Quite honestly, I'm not sure how to answer that. Unlike those gentlemen, I do not have a medical degree, but I would assume it's just a higher degree of optimism in Andrews than in the first doctor Bunkley saw.

Either way, I choose to side with Andrews. Mainly because a) it's better for the team, and b) I know his name so he must be pretty damn good.

My guess is we won't know for sure until the inactives are announced an hour and a half before the Eagles' game on Sunday. The team had apparently told practice squad rookie Jeff Owens that he would be getting called up to the active roster, but that likely won't happen unless Bunkley is placed on IR.

Since that appears unlikely, the Birds will probably just ride out this next game with what they've got and hope for Bunkley's return next week against the Titans, or more likely Week 9 after the bye.

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