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Saturday, August 21, 2004 

Answering the bell

After Correll Buckhalter's season-ending knee injury last night (torn ACL), it's up to Brian Westbrook to carry the load for the Eagles. Last season, Westbrook reached double-figures in carries just 4 times, and was not a factor in the passing game until the second half of the season. By comparison, Buckhalter had 6 games with 10+ carries, and Duce Staley (now with the Steelers) had 3. It will be interesting to see how Westbrook handles the extra pounding since he's a fairly small back (5-8, 200). Similar concerns have been raised in the past about Priest Holmes and Warrick Dunn. Holmes has stayed healthy and is arguably the best back in the league. Dunn hasn't, and now T.J. Duckett is looking over his shoulder.

If Westbrook falters, the lack of a running game will make it hard for Donovan McNabb to get enough time in the pocket to hook up with Terrell Owens downfield. And we all know what a distraction an unhappy Terrell Owens can be...

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