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Parker ruled out; Samuel remains questionable

The Eagles are set to take on the Texans tonight in what’s sure to be an offensively-based showdown, though defense could end up being the most important side of the ball for Philadelphia after the team allowed Jay Cutler to pass for four touchdowns in Week 12 and Houston has arguably even more dangerous passing attack. One player on defense isn’t going to be suiting up this evening, however, is Juqua Parker, starting defensive end for the Eagles who began the season on fire but has lately been hampered by lingering hip pain. Parker’s absence isn’t expected to be detrimental, as rookie Brandon Graham as filled in nicely, but the void of a veteran lineman could begin to take its toll down the stretch of the season, even more so because Parker is more proven against the run.

Graham isn’t fazed by his larger job on defense, though, and is looking forward to making an impact. “Right now, we’re all pretty sore but we’re still going out there and working hard,” he said. “Everybody’s not really worried about how sore we are because once the game comes, our momentum and our enthusiasm will take over.”

Meanwhile, Asante Samuel remains questionable on the official injury report with a knee sprain that he began to feel the effects of during the Eagles’ win over the Giants a few weeks ago. Samuel was greatly missed against the Bears last Sunday, and he hasn’t been a full participant at practice for some time now, but the cornerback believes he’ll be in uniform to help Philly versus the Texans and their star receiver, Andre Johnson, tonight. Head coach Andy Reid is expected to make the decision as to whether or not Samuel will play shortly before kickoff, and if Samuel is held out of action, Joselio Hanson would be in line for the start, while rookie Trevard Lindley would also be likely to see an extended role in the secondary.

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