Hot Topic and Player Notes: Eagles

War Nest
Posted Nov 2, 2005


Just when the Eagles may be getting their placekicker back from the ranks of the injured, they're probably going to be losing their punter. Dirk Johnson had surgery in June to repair a sports hernia, but continues to be bothered by problems with his groin. He clearly was in discomfort trying to punt in Sunday's 49-21 loss to Denver and was unable to run downfield.

He was scheduled to meet Tuesday with Dr. William Myers, who performed the June surgery on him and there's a good possibility he'll be shut down for the season.

Monday, Eagles coach Andy Reid described the injury as "pretty significant." The Eagles brought in several punters for workouts Tuesday and will sign one of them if Johnson can't punt Sunday against the Redskins.

Meanwhile, the Eagles are hopeful of getting kicker David Akers back this week. Akers has missed the last four games with a torn hamstring, but did some kicking in the Eagles' indoor bubble last week and will try kicking in practice this week.

If Akers is able to play Sunday, the Eagles likely will still hang on to kicker Jose Cortez and let him handle kickoffs.

PLAYER NOTES

--P Dirk Johnson's season may be over. Johnson, who had surgery in June to repair a sports hernia, continues to be bothered by groin problems that are making it extremely painful to kick.

--PK David Akers may return this week after missing four games with a torn hamstring. He kicked last week in the Eagles' indoor bubble without any problems. Akers likely won't handle kickoffs when he returns, at least not initially.

--PK Jose Cortez likely will remain on the roster and handle kickoffs for the Eagles, even though David Akers may return this week after missing four games with a torn hamstring.

--QB Donovan McNabb continues to insist his sports hernia isn't affecting his ability to throw the ball. But he continues to be erratic. He completed just 12 of 34 passes in Sunday's loss to the Broncos.

--RB Brian Westbrook still has not had more than 20 touches in a game this season. He had 17 Sunday against Denver.

--WR Terrell Owens sprained his ankle in the second half Sunday, but continued to play. It's the same ankle he had surgically repaired last December. He had an MRI on the ankle Monday.

--WR Reggie Brown, the club's second-round draft pick, had his most productive day as a pro Sunday, catching a pair of passes for 44 yards in the Eagles' loss to Denver.

--TE L.J. Smith had just one reception Sunday, though it was for a touchdown. With the Broncos blitzing on almost every down, he had to stay in and block a lot more than he usually does.

--DE Jevon Kearse, who is not having a particularly good year, injured his shoulder in Sunday's loss to the Broncos. He didn't return to the game and had an MRI on the shoulder Monday. The Eagles are hopeful he'll be able to play this week.


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