The Eagles will decide this week whether wide receiver Terrell Owens
will play for the team again this season.
The club suspended Owens indefinitely Saturday for conduct
detrimental to the team after he criticized the Eagles and their
quarterback, Donovan McNabb, in a national television interview.
Head coach Andy Reid suspended Owens after he refused to apologize
privately to the team, including McNabb, before it left for Sunday's
game in Washington against the Redskins.
"We'll meet in the next few days, and Andy will figure out where we
go from here," Eagles president Joe Banner said. "He indicated he'd talk
to Terrell early in the week to give him a definitive status report."
On Sunday, former Eagles player Hugh Douglas, now a broadcaster and
team "ambassador," said that he and Owens had a locker room scuffle on
Wednesday. No punches were landed, Douglas said.
It is extremely unlikely that Owens will play for the Eagles again
this season. And there is almost zero chance of the team keeping him
beyond this season. He is due a $7.5 million roster bonus in March. Team
sources say the club has no intention of paying him.
Without Owens, the Eagles managed just one touchdown and 17 first
downs in a 17-10 loss to the Redskins that dropped their record to 4-4
and put them in last place in the NFC East.
"It's not good that he's not here," wide receiver Greg Lewis said. "I
wish he was here because he's close to me and he's a great player. But
he's not here right now, so we have to go with what we've got."
The Eagles' three wideouts, Lewis, rookie Reggie Brown and Billy McMullen, combined for 13 catches for 211 yards against the Redskins.
But Brown was the only one of the three who could find the end zone,
scoring on a 56-yard catch and run in the first quarter.
The Eagles offense suffered a further blow in the first half when
tight end L.J. Smith suffered a concussion that knocked him out of the
game. Without Owens and Smith, the Redskins were able to key on running
back Brian Westbrook, who was held to 79 rushing and receiving yards on
"T.O.'s a big part of the offense and an explosive player," said
McMullen, whose three catches against the Redskins were one more than he
had in the Eagles' first seven games. "It does matter if he's out there,
but we're just going to keep on playing. T.O. is a big part of the
offense, and we'd love to have him back."
That isn't likely to happen unless he is willing to make a heartfelt
apology to his teammates.
Eagles coach Andy Reid finally found some balance in his offense,
running the ball 23 times Sunday against a Redskins defense that gave up
206 rushing yards to the Giants' Tiki Barber the week before.
But Philadelphia only managed 45 yards with those 23 rushing
attempts, and the Eagles suffered their third loss in the last four
Playing without star wide receiver Terrell Owens, who was suspended
for conduct detrimental to the team, and tight end L.J. Smith, who left
the game in the second quarter with a concussion, the Eagles were held
to just one touchdown for the third time this season.
Quarterback Donovan McNabb completed 22 of 35 passes for 304 yards.
But he couldn't find anybody open on a pivotal fourth-and-4 play at the
Washington 7-yard line with a minute and a half left in the game, and
Ryan Clark intercepted his pass.
--TE L.J. Smith suffered a concussion in the second quarter against
Washington and had to leave the game. His status for Monday night's game
against Dallas is uncertain.
--QB Donovan McNabb, who has been playing all season with a sports
hernia, seemed to move around pretty well Sunday. He completed 22 of 35
passes for 304 yards, and he even ran the ball three times for 12 yards.
--K David Akers kicked for the first time in five weeks. He had been
sidelined with a torn hamstring. Akers, who didn't handle kickoffs, had
a 34-yard field goal against Washington.
--TE Stephen Spach got his most extensive playing time of the season
after L.J. Smith left the Washington game in the second quarter with a
concussion. Spach had two catches for 14 yards.