PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Brian Westbrook spent his week off rehabbing an abdominal injury at the team's practice facility.
No beach. No golfing. No fun in the sun, though the weather was unseasonably warm in Philadelphia.
If the Eagles (1-3) have any hopes of turning things around after a poor start, they're going to need their star running back on the field.
Philly got some good news Monday when Westbrook and other injured starters took part in the team's first practice since returning from an off week.
``I'm doing everything I can to get back out there,'' Westbrook said. ``I did some things. I'm trying. I'm just as important as everybody else. We have a lot of starters missing. Everybody is very important.''
Westbrook was hurt against Detroit on Sept. 23. Before he left in the third quarter of that game, he had 110 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 14 carries. He also caught five passes for 111 yards and scored on a 43-yard screen pass.
Coming off his best season, Westbrook was off to an outstanding start. He has 291 yards rushing, two TDs and is gaining 5.7 yards per carry. He also has 19 catches for 223 yards and one TD.
``It's a muscle tear, so I compare it to a hamstring,'' Westbrook said of his injury. ``It gets a little bit better and hopefully you don't have any setbacks.''
Westbrook was among five starters who didn't play in a 16-3 loss to the New York Giants that followed a 56-21 win over the Lions. Left tackle William Thomas, All-Pro safety Brian Dawkins, Pro Bowl cornerback Lito Sheppard and tight end L.J. Smith also sat out with injuries. Left guard Todd Herremans was added to the injury list last week when he had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
The team doesn't allow players to discuss their injuries and practice was closed, but Westbrook said everyone was on the field. That doesn't mean the Eagles will have all of them back for Sunday's game at the New York Jets, but it's a step forward.
The defending NFC East champions are in last place and 0-2 in the division. They can't afford to fall further behind and have to start winning games in which they're favored. At least the schedule helped because the bye gave the injured players extra time to heal.
``You have some good teams struggling,'' Smith said. ``We have to dig ourselves out of a hole.''

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