Buckhalter, Thomas Hopeful of Quick Return

Correll Buckhalter

With the Cowboys handing the Eagles the division title Sunday, the last thing in the world that Andy Reid wanted was an injury. Unfortunately, he came out of the win over Atlanta with two injuries that could be significant.

Eagles coach Andy Reid got most of his regulars off the field Sunday a few minutes into the first quarter, as soon as he received word that the Cowboys' loss to Detroit had given Philadelphia its fifth NFC East title in six years. But it wasn't soon enough to prevent an injury to number two running back Correll Buckhalter.

Buckhalter, who has made an amazing comeback from knee injuries that kept him out three of the past four seasons, limped off the field after the first play of the Eagles' second possession. The team initially announced that the injury was to Buckhalter's left knee, but after the game, Reid said it was a calf strain.

At his news conference Monday, Reid said he was hopeful that Buckhalter would be able to play in Sunday's first-round playoff game against the Giants. On his weekly coaches show, Reid said that nothing had changed and that both Westbrook and Thomas were still hopeful of playing Sunday afternoon against the Giants, but he would wait until Wednesday morning to decide whether they would practice.

Thomas, whose injury, according to Reid, is a little worse than Buckhalter's, probably has been the Eagles' most effective pass rusher the second half of the season. He had two sacks in Sunday's win over the Falcons. He's also been a factor in helping the Eagles run defense and is hoping to be healthy enough to stop Tiki Barber since he thinks the defense has stopping Barber down to an art. "Just us playing up front, the front four, man. Just getting off blocks, penetrating gaps, stuff like that, man, to stop Tiki Barber. Penetration kills, so if we can play on the other side of the ball we can stop Tiki Barber," said Thomas.

Reid is worried more about Sunday than he is Wednesday's practice, especially when it comes to Thomas. "I think he'll be alright. Even if he were to miss Wednesday practice, I think he'll still be alright – as it looks right now," said Reid at his Monday press conference.

Buckhalter has been an effective compliment to Brian Westbrook. He has averaged 4.2 yards per carry and an impressive 10.7 yards per catch on 24 receptions. If he can't play Sunday, Reno Mahe likely would back up Westbrook.

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