Last week I wrote about whether or not Brian Westbrook could return to the Eagles lineup. The same question is being posed this week and again the early implications point towards him playing. Head coach Andy Reid says Westbrook should be cleared to play and will get worked back into the offense on limited reps. This seems to be good news on the surface, but should Westbrook really make a return?
It’s hard to question having Brian Westbrook in the lineup as a bad thing; however, the thought is crossing my mind. To start, Westbrook hasn’t played in the last five games, all of which the Eagles have won. This isn’t to say that the team is better without him, but the team has done pretty well during his absence. Missing five consecutive games, you know he’s not going to be up to game speed. He is a veteran, but you can’t get those full speed game-like snaps in practice.
If he does return, he isn’t going to be given a heavy work load. That is a fact. However, he will get to see a number of snaps. The only problem here is that takes away reps from other plays. Leonard Weaver and LeSean McCoy both saw success against the 49ers and have been running the ball pretty well while Westbrook has been out. If Westbrook isn’t playing at a high level, you’re not putting the ball in the hands of a player with the best chance to make a play. These last two games are very important and the Eagles need to do everything possible to win.
Maybe Brian Westbrook gives them the best chance of winning and if he could get warmed up going into the playoffs it would be great. However, based on his performance this season and recent absence, he has a lot to prove.
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