Eagles: Asante Samuel questionable for Cowboys

PHILADELPHIA - December 10, 2010

Samuel, who has missed the last two games for the Eagles (8-4), practiced on a limited basis Wednesday and sat out Thursday's practice. On Friday, he was at practice, helmet in hand, but left after just 15 minutes.

"I was down today," Samuel said. "My main thing is just try to get as healthy as possible. Whether I'm out there or not, whatever I'm doing, I'm just trying to get as healthy as possible. I would prefer to be out there, running around a little more. But (I'm) just trying to do the best thing, get all the strength back, and possibly be ready to go."

Right tackle Winston Justice missed his third day of practice and is also questionable.

"Yeah, we'll see," coach Andy Reid said. "Literally, I'm just going to take it day by day and just see what happens, and see how they do overnight, here. And they'll keep getting treatment; we'll just see how it goes."

Reid wouldn't call Samuel's situation a setback. The cornerback, who leads the team with seven interceptions, just isn't ready.

"It's like what I told you Wednesday, that he was going to give it a try and see how he felt," Reid said. "And so, it didn't feel very good on Wednesday, so we backed off of him. We're giving him treatment."

Samuel, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, injured the knee late in the fourth quarter of a win vs. the New York Giants on Nov. 21. What was called an MCL sprain, at that time, has shifted from day-to-day to week-to-week.

"I want to be out there, but you know how it is," Samuel said. "Every day, it gets a little better. Do I need practice to play? I don't need practice. But the more practice you get, the better it is."

In the last two games, the Eagles pass defense has fallen from 13th to 17th. Against Chicago, the secondary allowed Jay Cutler to throw four touchdown passes, and against Houston, it allowed Matt Schaub to pass for 337 yards. Earlier in the season, Samuel missed a game against San Francisco, and Alex Smith threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns.

"The last couple of games I was proud of what (the rest of the secondary) did," Reid said. "But again, you're talking about Asante. He's a great player. Would you like him to be in there? Yeah, absolutely, you want him to be in there. But the other guys sure did a nice job. If Asante can go, he'll go in this game. And if he can't, then I have full trust in the other guys."

If Samuel cannot go, Joselio Hanson will again start opposite Dimitri Patterson, and rookie Trevard Lindley will take part in the nickel package.

King Dunlap will start at right tackle in place of Justice (knee). Dunlap started two games at left tackle this season in place of Jason Peters.

"He can play either side," Reid said. "But he's actually more comfortable on the right side."

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