Torn ACL ends McNabb's year; swelling delays surgery

Updated: November 22, 2006, 1:05 AM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Donovan McNabb tore a ligament in his right knee and will miss the rest of the season, the third time in five years the Eagles will finish a campaign without their hard-luck quarterback.

No sympathy from T.O.
Terrell Owens
Owens
IRVING, Texas -- Donovan McNabb shouldn't expect a "Get well soon" text message from Terrell Owens.

"Absolutely not," Owens said Tuesday.

But, T.O., don't you remember McNabb sending you one following your reported suicide attempt that turned out to be an accidental overdose?

"I'm not even going there, dude," Owens said, laughing and shaking his head. "I wouldn't even make up a story like that. It's not even worth it. Just not even worth it."

Although McNabb has said he reached out to Owens following his brief hospital stint in September, Owens has maintained he never received anything from McNabb.

The mixup or media ploy -- depending on whose side you're on -- only added to the bitter feelings between the former Philadelphia teammates whose friendship dissolved oh-so-publicly.

-- The Associated Press

McNabb was rolling to his right and was bumped out of bounds after throwing an incomplete pass Sunday when he grabbed his leg in pain early in the second quarter of Philadelphia's 31-13 loss to the Titans.

He was immediately tended to by trainers, carted off the field and later taken to a hospital. The Eagles said McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowl selection in the midst of a possible career year, tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

"That's normally an eight-month-to-a-year injury," Eagles coach Andy Reid said, "so he's done for the year."

According to reports on the Eagles Web site, McNabb was examined by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday. The famed orthopedic surgeon concluded that swelling in the knee would prevent immediate surgery.

McNabb was officially placed on injured reserve Tuesday. Linebacker Torrance Daniels was promoted from the practice squad to take McNabb's roster spot. Quarterback Omar Jacobs was signed to the practice squad.

McNabb will work with Eagles staff for the next two to three weeks to reduce swelling. Philadelphia head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder updated McNabb's condition on Monday, saying the quarterback also suffered minor meniscus damage.

"[McNabb] accepts that injuries are part of the game. He is disappointed, I know," Burkholder told philadelphiaeagles.com. "The last thing I said to him last night when he was leaving was, 'We'll get you right,' and he said, 'We've got to get these guys right.' His concern was his teammates more than him at the time. I don't think any of us expect anything less out of Donovan."

While Burkholder acknowledged that the recovery time for this kind of injury is almost a year, he also said, "Some depends on what happens when they get in there and look around to see whether there is any other damage."

McNabb came into Sunday's game tied with Peyton Manning for the league lead with 18 touchdown passes and was second in the league with 2,569 yards passing.

Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who bumped McNabb out of bounds on the play, said he was trying to get a hand in the quarterback's face as he was trying to get off the pass.

"I really feel bad for him," Vanden Bosch said. "You know I never play with the intent to get anybody hurt and I've been through two ACL injuries myself and you know my thoughts and prayers go out to him."

McNabb was replaced in the lineup by Jeff Garcia, who finished the game 26-for-48 for 189 yards and threw a touchdown pass to L.J. Smith.

"You never think he's not going to get up and come back on the field," Garcia said. "He's a great player and he was having a great year. And he is a leader on this team and he will be missed in many ways."

Donovan McNabb #5
Al Bello/Getty ImagesDonovan McNabb injured his right knee early in the second quarter against the Titans.

The Eagles fell to 5-5 with the loss, but Reid said he would expect the team to bounce back.

"He's a great player," Reid said. But "we can still win football games with the guys that we have."

McNabb missed the final seven games last season with a sports hernia and Philadelphia finished 6-10, a frustrating follow-up to the Eagles' Super Bowl run. McNabb also sat out the final six regular-season games of the 2002 season with a broken ankle before returning for the playoffs.

The Eagles were 2-5 with Mike McMahon filling in for McNabb last season and went 5-1 with Koy Detmer and A.J. Feeley starting the last six games in '02.

McNabb was 6-for-13 for 78 yards and threw an interception in the end zone before leaving the game.

Reid said he would determine later whether Garcia would start in place of McNabb against Indianapolis next week. Feeley was re-signed by the Eagles in the preseason and is the team's third quarterback.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press