ESPNews reports Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook (ribs) suffered fractured ribs in Week 5, and his status for Week 6 is uncertain.
The injury came on the Eagles' opening drive in Week 5; Westbrook totaled 39 yards on the drive and scored on a nine yard-touchdown run. After the touchdown, Westbrook received help on the sidelines from the trainers before heading to the locker room, where he received a numbing injection. He was able to return early in the second quarter; he finished the game with 12 rushes for 33 yards and one touchdown while catching six passes for 51 yards.
With the injury, it would not be a surprise to see Westbrook as a limited participant in practice this week, if he practices at all. This is his second injury sustained this year after he strained an ankle in Week 4. He missed Week 4 with the ankle injury and was considered a game-time decision this past week. As well, rib injuries can linger, making it tough for Westbrook to absorb the blows that a featured running back encounters on a game-by-game basis.
For the season, Westbrook has run the ball 54 times for 194 yards (3.6 yards per carry) and four touchdowns while catching nine passes for 86 yards.
Running back Correll Buckhalter was the back to replace Westbrook in Week 4 against the Chicago Bears. The University of Nebraska alum ran the ball 16 times for 66 yards while catching two passes for 24 yards in Week 4. He has registered 30 carries for 114 yards (3.8 yards per carry) and one touchdown this season; he has also caught 10 passes for 83 yards and one touchdown.
Another contributor in Week 4 with Westbrook out was running back Lorenzo Booker; he ran the ball twice for seven yards. He has 12 carries for 27 yards and has caught five passes for 10 yards this season. Fullback Tony Hunt also received a carry, one of only four for him this season. He has nine yards and one touchdown.
From a fantasy perspective, owners of Westbrook should be prepared to reserve him for the coming week, at least. The team will see how he practices over the next few days, according to head coach Andy Reid. If he does play in Week 6, there is no guarantee he will be in full health, and he could be used as a decoy.
Buckhalter is someone to acquire, though he might already have been grabbed by Westbrook owners after Westy's Week 3 injury. Don't let that stop you from trying, though, as he would be a decent pickup if Westbrook misses time. He would be a smart play in Week 6 as he faces the San Francisco 49ers, who are giving up the eighth most rushing yards per game (124.0) to this position in the past four weeks. They have also allowed 30.5 receiving yards and 1.5 total touchdowns per game to the position in that time.
Booker is not worth grabbing in fantasy leagues. Buckhalter has been the man to replace Westbrook in the past, and he would likely be the main guy again if Westbrook misses any more time. Hunt is not worth adding in any leagues, either.
About Bryce McRae
Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.
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