News out of Philly is that the Eagles will be without running back Brian Westbrook, receiver Reggie Brown and guard Shawn Andrews.
Knowing that Westbrook will not play Sunday against the 49ers does not change how the 49ers’ defense will approach this game, 49ers coach Mike Nolan said. He said the difference between Westbrook and backup Correll Buckhalter is not too dramatic – such as, say, the difference between
“Buckhalter is a very good back,” Nolan said. “It’ll give them a chance to activate (Lorenzo) Booker a little more in the offense. So things like that are what we’ll have to pay a little closer attention to.”
The 49ers anticipated Andrews would not play, and the 49ers figure receiver Kevin Curtis’ return will compensate for the loss of Brown. Curtis, who caught 77 passes for 1,110 yards and six touchdowns, has been inactive for the first five games of the season with a sports hernia.
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Linebacker Manny Lawson (hamstring) is doubtful for the game. His chances of playing are slim to none. Tackle Jonas Jennings (shoulder) has no chance of playing, Nolan said.
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Linebacker Takeo Spikes is not injured, but he took fewer reps in practice today. Nolan likes to keep some his veterans fresh.
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After practice, rookie defensive lineman Kentwan Balmer went off by himself and got some additional work on the blocking sled. Nolan saw Balmer and went over to give him some coaching tips.
Balmer, at times, has a tendency to raise his pad level, which makes him easier for an offensive lineman to control.
“If I just line up in front of the sled and hit it a bunch of times, I can work on pad level,” Nolan said. “But the reality is, in a game, nobody ever comes straight off the ball. They try to work for an angle to stretch you here or cut you off there. So you have to line up on the sled in a way that you can make that adjustment yourself, so that it’s real. Otherwise you practice footwork that’s not going to happen.”
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