PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Depending on Brian Westbrook's health, the Philadelphia Eagles are either dangerous or in danger.
With the explosive Westbrook in the backfield, the Eagles have arguably one of the most dynamic offenses in the league. Without him, the offense sputters and the Eagles have a hard time putting opponents away.
As a big NFC East showdown against the Washington Redskins looms, the Eagles would love to have Westbrook return from an ankle injury that kept him out of last week's disappointing 24-20 loss to Chicago.
``I've gotten better every day,'' said Westbrook, who was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice. ``I'm trying to get better every minute, every second of the day.''
Getting Westbrook back would be a big lift to the Eagles, who at 2-2 are in danger of falling far behind the pack in the tough NFC East if they lose to the 3-1 Redskins.
with three cracks from the Bears 1 in the fourth quarter.
``We're still confident that we can get the job done,'' Westbrook said. ``We need to execute a little bit better to win those football games.''
Westbrook hurt his right ankle in Week 3 against the Steelers as he hurdled a teammate on a run in the first half. Since his injury, the Eagles offense has sputtered at times - tallying just a field goal in the second half against Pittsburgh and coming up short on three straight rushing attempts from the 1-yard line with the game on the line against Chicago.
``The injury is another week older. Another week of rehab for me,'' said Westbrook, who was a game-time decision before the Chicago game despite sitting out practice all week. ``I'm definitely more optimistic than I was last week.''
Eagles coach Andy Reid said he would ease Westbrook back into practice.
``We'll see how he does and gradually give him a little bit more each day and see how it works out for Sunday,'' Reid said.
There is no doubt the Eagles offense revolves around Westbrook. As he goes, they go.
ll-Pro running back.
Against the Bears, the Eagles offense was inconsistent in the red zone, scoring only one touchdown on four trips inside the Chicago 20-yard line. They also failed to convert on a 3rd and 1 run that forced a long missed field goal.
If Westbrook needs any more motivation to get back on the field, the Redskins game always means a little bit more to him. Not only is he a native of Washington, D.C., Westbrook's younger brother is a member of the Redskins practice squad.
Last season, the Redskins used Byron Westbrook, a cornerback, to mimic his older brother. But even with the injury, Brian Westbrook said the Redskins will need to come up with another way to prepare.
``He's not as good as me,'' he said, laughing.
n the honor.

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