PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Brian Westbrook could be a decoy, part-time player or third-down specialist.
All that matters is he’ll be back on the field.
Westbrook completed a full week of practice and is expected to play for the Philadelphia Eagles against Denver on Sunday after missing five weeks with a concussion.
"We’ll see how his numbers go and how he feels," coach Andy Reid said Friday. "I’ll stay in communication with him throughout the game. He’ll have a chance to play. He’s done well this week."
While Westbrook is set to return, the Eagles could be without quarterback Michael Vick because he has a quadriceps contusion. Vick, who runs a handful of plays each game, didn’t practice this week and is questionable.
"We’re still working with him to see if he can’t come around," Reid said. "He still has quite a bit of soreness."
Rookie halfback LeSean McCoy and fullback Leonard Weaver have filled in capably for Westbrook, so the Eagles don’t have to rely on the former All-Pro to carry the load.
"There are certain things we’re going to do with him in the run game, the pass game and we’ll see how he does," Reid said. "We’re not expecting him to play every play, the whole game."
The NFC East-leading Eagles (10-4) host the Broncos (8-6) in a game with strong playoff implications. Philadelphia has already clinched a playoff spot, but has a chance to earn a first-round bye. Denver has a one-game lead over six teams for a wild-card spot in the AFC. The game also marks the return of Brian Dawkins to Philadelphia.
Westbrook may want to stay away from Dawkins, one of the hardest-hitting safeties in the NFL. Westbrook sustained his second concussion in three weeks against San Diego on Nov. 15. His first career concussion came against Washington on Oct. 26. Westbrook sat out two games before returning prematurely against the Chargers.
Overall, Westbrook has played in just six games this season. He has just 225 yards rushing and 156 yards receiving, and the Eagles are only 3-3 when Westbrook has played.
"He’s fresh," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. "When we were at Washington, he was motoring. He was at a high level there. We’ll see. I would expect him to play at a high level. He’s ready to go. He has continued to prepare like he was playing in each game. I think he’s ready to play.