Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
So here we are two days before the start of the regular season and Eagles right tackle Shawn Andrews is missing practice because of a balky back. Please tell me this isn't catching you by surprise. Even dating back to the owners' meeting in Dana Point, Calif., I thought it was strange to hear Andy Reid express so much confidence in Andrews.
This is a guy who acknowledged dealing with depression heading into the '08 season and then missed 14 games because of back surgery. I thought the Eagles did an admirable job of trying to help Andrews work through his issues, but now they're coming across as pretty naive.
Reid and president Joe Banner were so hopeful about Andrews' comeback that they didn't bother to bring in an adequate backup. And despite what you may have read during training camp, Winston Justice is not an adequate replacement. He basically launched Osi Umenyiora's Pro Bowl campaign in 2007 and he's never really recovered from that dreadful performance -- at least in my opinion.
Phil Sheridan of the Inquirer has an excellent column this morning on the weird scene at the Eagles' practice facility Thursday. Sheridan referenced a "pact" that Reid supposedly made with reporters (perhaps without their knowledge) that the coach would be the one to deliver the details on injuries. He didn't want -- horror of horrors -- reporters calling players on their cell phones. But on Thursday, Reid took a different exit at NovaCare and the Eagles closed down the locker room to reporters. If this isn't a crisis, it sure feels like one.
Les Bowen of the Daily News has a detailed story of Thursday's events right here. Oh, and star running back Brian Westbrook (knee) also showed up on the injury report Thursday. Maybe everything will return to normal today -- but it's not something I'd put money on.