PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Guard Shawn Andrews was back on the field with the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday after missing the first 17 days of training camp because of depression.
The two-time Pro Bowler reported Aug. 10 but did not practice. Until Saturday, he had not practiced with the team since voluntary workouts in June.
``It feels great,'' Andrews said. ``I've gone through a lot of things, and I have the support of my teammates. It feels good to be back out on the field, around the guys.''
Andrews said he ``would love to play'' in the Eagles' next preseason game Friday against the Patriots, but coach Andy Reid has to make that decision.
``Right now he's very upbeat and positive,'' Reid said. ``He feels better, looks better. In just the couple of days that he's been here, we've seen a little bit of sense of relief when you're talking to him. We'll just take it day by day and see how he does.''
Reid initially said Andrews' absence from camp was unexcused, but it was unclear whether the team has exercised its right to fine him. Andrews, who could be fined $15,000 for each day missed, declined comment on the subject Saturday.
Although he remained at home in Arkansas during camp, Andrews said he continued to work out and now weighs 331 pounds, which he said is less than his playing weight.
``I've been running very hard and have used some of my emotions and aggressions in my workouts,'' said Andrews, who grappled with weight problems earlier in his career. ``I'm feeling pretty strong. I just want to keep reassuring myself that I have the means and the mind-set to keep the weight off.''
Reid said Andrews ``looks like he's in pretty good shape.''
``You could tell that he's been working and looks strong, and he's worked out just about every day since he's been back here,'' the coach said.
The fifth-year veteran said he had felt ``really lost'' and ``alone'' and talked to a mentor before getting professional help.
``A few weeks ago was the first time I ever opened up to anybody about anything,'' he said. ``It's been tough. I'm still going through a lot, but I'm just trying to make it. It's been a big step for me.''
Andrews said he had been pessimistic about his reception by his teammates and addressed them after a team meeting. ``I wanted to let them know that I hope they still respect me, and if they don't, I'm going to do everything possible to gain their respect back,'' he said.
``There's nothing but support here,'' he said. ``That's the good thing about the organization. They do a great job of getting good character guys here, and I feel back at home.''
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