Brian Westbrook isn't practicing today, as the Eagles begin preparing for this Sunday's visit to San Francisco, and there are indications the Birds understand their franchise running back almost certainly won't be able to play effectively this week.
Fullback Tony Hunt said he has been told he will take his practice reps at running back, where he played before being switched near the end of training camp. Defensive tackle Dan Klecko, signed last spring with the idea he would be a fullback, has been reissued his old No. 49 jersey and apparently will play an expanded role at fullback while still participating in the defensive tackle rotation. Defensive end Victor Abiamiri, out since early in training camp following wrist surgery, was to participate in his first full practice today, and Abiamiri said he had been told he would work some inside at defensive tackle -- something he assumes reflects Klecko's decreased availability on defense. It isn't clear that Abiamiri will be ready to play by this weekend.
It is clear the Eagles have a lot of work to do to turn around their 2-3 season. Quarterback Donovan McNabb called a players' meeting Monday, in addition to the regularly scheduled session presided over by the coaches. McNabb and other players said he was critical of his own play and he emphasized that, as McNabb told reporters Wednesday, "everyone has to understand the situation we're in."
McNabb again expressed his frustration with losses the last two weeks, to Chicago and Washington teams he felt the Eagles should have beaten.
"I hate losing," McNabb said. "I especially hate losing in that fashion."
In other injury news, Andy Reid said right guard Shawn Andrews's back spasms have not improved significantly. Andrews did not practice today. Defensive end Juqua Parker is day-to-day with knee swelling, Reid said, and safety J.R. Reed did not practice because of hamstring and ankle problems.