Westbrook Suffers Another Concussion
Three weeks later, Westbrook sustained another concussion, one that took him out of the Eagles' 31-23 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium. And now it's almost a certainty that the running back's season will be cut short.
After catching a 9-yard pass from Donovan McNabb with just over 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Westbrook headed to the sideline and was replaced by rookie LeSean McCoy. It was Westbrook's first game back since sustaining the first head injury in the Eagles' 27-17 victory against the Redskins in Washington, when he took a knee to the helmet and lost consciousness as a result.
Eagles coach Andy Reid offered few details as to Westbrook's condition this time around, or what the franchise might do if its star running back can't play another down this season -- or if his career may even be threatened.
"He got hit. I don't remember the play," Reid said of his eight-year veteran and team leader. "We'll just see how Brian does here; I know that's a concern for everybody; us included, and Brian. We'll evaluate him and we'll see how things go this next week."
Almost certainly there will speculation that the Eagles rushed Westbrook back too soon.
As he recovered from the Oct. 26 injury, Westbrook told Philadelphia-area media that his concussion "scared" him and that he was concerned about the long-term effects of head trauma.
"I didn't have a great understanding of concussions before," Westbrook said. "When you think about it, they don't have a lot of information about concussions when you get to be 50, 60 and 70 years old, how it impacts your life. Unfortunately in this profession, a lot of guys have concussions. Some guys don't even know they have concussions until it's too late."
The Eagles (5-4) may have lost Westbrook at a time when the offense could really use an impact, experienced running back. Despite the loss Sunday, McNabb passed for a season-high 450 yards, completing 35 of 55 passes. His final pass was intercepted in the end zone by Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
Three Philadelphia drives stalled inside the 10-yard line with the Eagles struggling in short-yardage, and they instead settled for a trio of field goals from David Akers.
While the franchise awaits medical reports on Westbrook, the team may have to examine the free-agent market for running back help. Veteran Edgerrin James is available after being released by Seattle earlier this month. Former Chiefs starter Larry Johnson, who was cut by that team last week, also is unsigned.