McNabb on verge of return

Dec 3, 2007 - 10:34 PM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid expects Donovan McNabb back in practice on Wednesday. After A.J. Feeley's performance on Sunday, the Eagles can only hope for McNabb's speedy return.

Reid said Monday that McNabb's ankle sprain has improved significantly and that the star quarterback is close to being completely healthy.

"I think we'll be there," Reid said. "I said before I want to make sure we got to that point and we're very, very close to that.

"I thought he moved around last week. As the week went on, I thought he got a little bit better and I think a couple days rest here has helped him."

McNabb has missed the last two games - both losses - for the Eagles after suffering a sprained ankle and a thumb injury against the Miami Dolphins on November 18.

He had hoped to be ready for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks but instead watched as Feeley threw four interceptions in a 28-24 loss.

Now 5-7, Philadelphia needs to turn things around quickly or miss the playoffs.

Although his thumb remains a concern, McNabb hopes he can tape it up and play against the rival New York Giants (8-4) this weekend. Putting him up against the Giants' vaunted defensive line is a risk Reid will have to take.

"They've got a heck of a football team and they got after us last time in a big way," Reid said. "We'll do what we need to do to protect the quarterback, whether he had a sore ankle or not a sore ankle.

"We'll do what we can to protect him. They've got some pretty good pass rushers."

If McNabb can return and stay healthy, Feeley will struggle to get another look for some time. That is despite the clamor that had been growing for him to start, at least prior to Sunday's outing.

However, Reid remains confident in his backup's abilities.

"Some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL have gone through days like this," Reid said. "It was a bad day, you have a bad day. Those things happen and it's important you learn from them."

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