Brian Westbrook: Life In the Breakdown Lane

BY PHIL ANDREWS, Senior Writer

According to the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), the average playing career for an NFL running back is two and a half seasons.

This much we do know, there was nothing average about Brian Westbrook and it is for that reason he will always be remembered as one of the best to ever wear a Philadelphia Eagles uniform.

“Brian is one of the greatest Eagles of all time and he is an even a better person and leader,” said eagles head coach Andy Reid. “In my mind, there has not been a more versatile running back that the NFL has seen. I had a conversation with Brian this morning to let him know. This is by far the most difficult part of this job. We wanted to make this move in order to maximize Brian’s chances of landing with another NFL team.”

Westbrook was due $7.25 million this season, and given his injury history and the multiple concussions he suffered last season, the Eagles decided they could not take the risk.

B-West says he wants to play in 2010, and as much as I would love to see him catch on with another team, his health should be the number one concern. Then again, what’s new?

I remember the first time I met Brian. It was his junior year at Villanova University. I was on campus that day to do a story on the Wildcats making a push to get into the 1999 Division 1AA playoffs. A push they would make without Brian, who was still recovering from a torn ACL in his left Knee.

Actually Brian partially tore that ligament three years earlier during his senior season at DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, but fully tore the ACL after slipping on some black ice one night, while walking back to his dorm.

Unfortunately the injury bug followed Brian to the NFL and as a result he had to deal with one nagging injury after another. To date, B-West has yet to play a full 16 game regular season, a situation unlikely to change even if Westbrook does sign with another team this off season.

Make no mistake about it, when healthy, Brian was one of the best backs in the career statistics from his 8 year career in Philadelphia are all the proof one needs.

Westbrook departs the City of Brotherly Love as the Eagle’s all-time leader in yards from scrimmage (9,785) He also ranks second in rushing yards (5,995) behind Wilbert Montgomery and third in receptions (426) behind Harold Carmichael and Pete Retzlaff. In addition, His 68 total touchdowns rank 3rd in team history behind Carmichael and Steve Van Buren.

Westbrook also leaves behind the franchise single-season record for most yards from scrimmage (2,104 in 2007) and most receptions in a season (90 in 2007). As a matter of fact, during that 2007 season, Brian accounted for nearly 37 percent of the team’s offense.

Below is a chronological list of the various injuries that kept Westbrook sidelined during his eight year stint in Philadelphia.

Westbrook’s Career Injuries
Date Injury
Dec 20, 2010 Concussion
Dec 13, 2010 Concussion
Dec 06, 2010 Concussion
Nov 29, 2010 Concussion
Nov 22, 2010 Concussion
Nov 08, 2010 Concussion
Nov 01, 2010 Concussion
Sep 27, 2010 Knee
Jan 16, 2009 Knee
Jan 09, 2009 Knee
Jan 02, 2009 Knee, ankle
Dec 26, 2008 Knee, ankle
Dec 19, 2008 Knee, ankle
Dec 12, 2008 Knee, ankle
Dec 05, 2008 Knee, ankle
Nov 26, 2008 Knee, ankle
Nov 21, 2008 Knee, ankle
Nov 14, 2008 Knee
Nov 07, 2008 Knee
Oct 31, 2008 Rib, ankle
Oct 24, 2008 Rib/ankle
Oct 10, 2008 Ribs/ankle
Oct 06, 2008 Ribs
Oct 03, 2008 Ankle
Sep 26, 2008 Ankle
Sep 21, 2008 Right ankle
Dec 28, 2007 Knee
Dec 21, 2007 Knee
Dec 14, 2007 Knee
Dec 07, 2007 Knee
Nov 30, 2007 Knee
Nov 16, 2007 Knee
Oct 12, 2007 Abdomen
Sep 28, 2007 Abdomen
Sep 24, 2007 Ribs
Sep 21, 2007 Knee
Jan 10, 2007 Knee
Dec 29, 2006 Illness
Dec 06, 2006 Toe
Nov 29, 2006 Knee
Nov 22, 2006 Knee
Nov 15, 2006 Knee
Nov 08, 2006 Ankle
Oct 25, 2006 Knee
Oct 18, 2006 Knee
Oct 11, 2006 Knee
Oct 04, 2006 Knee
Oct 02, 2006 Knee
Sep 27, 2006 Knee
Sep 20, 2006 Knee
Sep 15, 2006 Foot
Dec 07, 2005 Foot
Nov 10, 2004 Rib
Nov 03, 2004 Rib
Oct 27, 2004 Rib
Jan 07, 2004 Torn triceps tendon
Jan 07, 2004 Torn triceps tendon
Nov 12, 2003 Ankle
Nov 05, 2003 Ankle
Oct 29, 2003 Ankle
Oct 15, 2003 Hip
Sep 03, 2003 Knee
Jan 16, 2003 Wrist
Dec 18, 2002 Ankle
Dec 12, 2002 Ankle
Dec 08, 2002 Ankle
Sep 18, 2002 Abdomen
Sep 16, 2002 Thigh contusion

*List Compiled by SI.com”

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1 Comment

Filed under Phil Andrews

One response to “Brian Westbrook: Life In the Breakdown Lane

  1. Louie The Looper

    Brian, I’ll miss you, but don’t come back to the NFL.

    They can’t pay you enough to possibly end up like Andre Waters. You were a great player. Time to rest on your laurels and enjoy life.

    Thanks for all the great memories.

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